Select Property Design Director Cathy Mocke reveals the process of creating appealing living spaces for today’s increasingly demanding student.
Although the increase in UK tuition fees in 2012 did nothing to halt the demand for a British education, the landmark change did have a profound effect on the student property market.
Quite simply, if you’re going to be spending £9,000 a year (or more if you’re from overseas) to go to university, you want to absolutely make sure you get the most out of it. As a result, accommodation that accentuates the overall university experience has now started to become more of a necessity than a wish in the eyes of many students.
In my last post I outlined how Select Property’s end-user approach leads all of our property design, and how attempting to craft accommodation that meets the needs of our diverse range of students that reside in our Vita Student properties is a challenge.
But it’s one that we meet by listening to our customers and continually evolving every aspect of our buildings in line with the demands today’s student now expect from their accommodation.
I’ll write at a later date about our approach to our Hub spaces, a feature of Vita Student that cannot be matched in any other UK purpose-built student accommodations.
But below here’s how we create studio apartments that delight students and, ultimately, returns for our investors:
The notion of home in a new city
With Vita Student, we don’t settle on proving accommodation, we aim to provide a home.
Moving to university is a defining moment in any student’s life, in particular for international students who also have to become accustomed to a completely new culture.
Creating beautifully designed living spaces, places which students will look forward to coming home to at the end of the day, will naturally build a sense of belonging, allowing them to easily adjust to their new wider surroundings.
By simply providing them with all the independent facilities of their own self-contained apartment – their own piece of home – you will instantly make them feel more settled and secure.
We also give our students ample shelving and a noticeboard for them to be able to fully personalise their apartments with the things dearest to them.
Yet how do you go further to ensure that students are truly getting the very best from their experience?
Our Vita Student apartments come equipped with the very best mod cons. Whether our students are watching a movie on their wall-mounted Smart TV, or creating a tasty dinner using the Smeg appliances in the kitchen, they can have the very best experience during their downtime with no compromises.
What’s more, by using thoughtful design, you can create a place that delivers a larger sense of space than is dictated by the dimensions of a floor plan. Cleverly optimised desk sizes, as well as the provision of ample hanging and drawer space and under-bed storage, ensures rooms remain free of clutter and space is light and airy.
By blending together all of these touch points, you can provide today’s students with the comfort and security they’ve always needed, with the luxury fittings more of them now demand.
Apartments that you can be proud to live in
Ok, so these are the personal spaces of each student. But we want their design to help spark a reaction and encourage the students to want to show them off to their friends and family!
An additional table slides efficiently under or over desk spaces so that, when you do want to invite your friends over for dinner, you can easily accommodate them by moving it out next to your floor length window, allowing you to enjoy a meal together while looking out on the sights of your new home city.
We want our students to bring friends round who live in other student properties in the city to watch a film on the wall mounted Smart TVs and be totally amazed at the quality of their peers’ surroundings in comparison to their own.
The idea is that they go away with a lasting impression of Vita Student. We want these people to want to live in Vita Student the next academic year!
This will continue to build the sense of community within each development, with groups of friends living together. With this approach, we drive tenancy renewals, generate new tenancies and help grow returns for our investors.
You can connect with Cathy on LinkedIn.