Meeting growing demand
Camberwell College is part of the University of the Arts London (UAL), one of the world’s largest providers of art and design education. It educates 1,500 students from the UK, Europe and beyond, and faces increasing demand for both places and accommodation. So when Southwark Council took the decision to sell its former offices at 30-32, 33-37 and 39 Peckham Road in Camberwell, adjacent to the college, it turned to Alumno to help develop a proposal for student housing.
“Working from a very early stage with the staff of Camberwell College of Arts, we sought to provide a creative and cultural hub for students studying there,” explains David Campbell, managing director of Alumno. “The aspiration was to create a campus environment that offered a unique setting, and this presented an exciting yet challenging opportunity for the team. Working closely with Southwark Council we were able to ensure that the project addressed key local issues and provided a long-term future for the buildings.”
All but one of the buildings was Grade II listed and located in a conservation area, so Alumno and construction partner Miller Construction undertook an extensive consultation exercise with the council’s Conservation Department, English Heritage and The Georgian Society to ensure the final scheme met their demands and expectations.
The Peckham Road properties were designed with UAL students’ needs in mind. Affordability was a key concern, and the twin-sharing and non-ensuite rooms included in the design have been welcomed by students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford University while staying in the more expensive purpose-built residences.
“The architectural features and the enhanced quality of the buildings was also a particular attraction,” explains Robin Holloway, student accommodation development manager at the University of the Arts London. “UAL students, by the nature of their studies, seek inspiration and ideas from their environment. It is the opportunity and ability to offer our students the chance to reside in wonderful and bespoke accommodation during their years of study that excited us.”
The development has given the college a unique position within the art and design higher education marketplace: a campus-style college environment within two miles of the centre of London, one of the leading international centres of the creative industries.
Following the completion of the Peckham Road Buildings, Alumno has developed further student accommodation in Camberwell.