Visiting the scheme after twelve months of full occupation by students of the University of the Arts Norwich was a surprise, in a positive sense. Most common areas, the reading room and facilities looked almost as pristine as on completion day. There are almost no visible traces to evidence that the scheme has been in heavy usage for all this time. The landscaped area, exteriors and green roofs are now fully established and in lush condition. They provide beautiful amenities for all students.
This positive impression is very much supported by the Facility Management and student feedback. Most messages provided us with re-assurance that intensive planning, consulting, striving continuously to improve and high quality standards benefitted operation, upkeep and appearance of the scheme when reviewing one year later.
This is also the first time that students have voiced their experiences and could make suggestions for improvements which will naturally inform the way we approach our schemes, design and overall composition of the layouts. When asked what they liked most students came back with the very much appreciated: “Loved all of it” or “Socialising with the close community of students made easy by the accommodation” or “Living in a swanky new flat looking over the city” or “Having a really good room in a central location, the amount of people in the block meant you got to know lots of people really well so there was a friendly atmosphere in the accommodation” or “I do like the fact that we get our own bathrooms here, and the rooms are quite bright and airy which makes them rather nice”.
Most surprising was that one of the students spent some Christmas time at the scheme and their favourite event was the “Dorm Christmas party”
A fantastic testimony by happy students demonstrating that we created a success, also thanks to the excellent design team (lead by Carsons & Partners) and the brilliant execution by Morgan Sindall as the contractor.
It is important to mention is that the ‘scheme’ also incorporated the refurbishment of No50 All Saints Green, the Grade II listed old coach house. Measured on the responses and volume of visitors to either the Yoga classes by the Yoga Tree or the Acorn Café the new tenancy is a great success and forms an important addition to this part of the city. Alumno recently finished the artwork to the lawn in front of the building depicting a dancing couple as reference to the building’s previous use as a well-known dance studio. This is a design by Marie Clarke who also designed the other landscape elements of the scheme and will do so again for Alumno’s other scheme in Norwich, The Quad.