Ulster University Student Village

University of Ulster

Client: University of Ulster

Completion: June 2009

Value: £24m

Project Summary

McAdams secured this enormous project via design competition. This involved collaborating extensively with the main developer Turkington’s Ltd to provide the best value solution to a very challenging brief which included 900 units split across 2 University campus sites. Delivered via Public Private Partnership we responded to a detailed brief by the Ulster University which required modern robust 5 person, single bedroom apartments with communal living dining spaces to be delivered in a domestic scale village arrangement within a very restricted unitary charge (ie. affordable student rentals). The resultant designs also had to include communal outdoor spaces for students to socialise and have embedded a “village shop” and student welfare facilities. The PPP arrangement was to last 25yrs so a key consideration was a robust, low maintenance design solution which could cope with the constant tenant change as students passed through their academic courses

The solution was a series of 2 and 3 storey student blocks arrangement around open courtyards which vehicular movement restricted to the perimeter of the development were possible. The final built form and materiality was heavily influenced by affordability considerations and was agreed with both the PPP provider and the Ulster University Estates Department


The Ulster University Student Village provided on-site secure modern living accommodation for students. In particular it was focused on the universities overseas student population which due to the institutions international reputation was a growing segment. Features included

  • Spacious modern studio bedrooms with un-suite shower and toilet
  • Generous communal living / dining rooms to be shared by a student cohort of 5
  • Over-sized family units to allow mature students to live on campus with their families
  • Over provision of ground floor disabled units to ensure fully inclusive environment
  • Excellent on-site student shopping and welfare facilities to help build and maintain a thriving student community atmosphere

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