Student Residence, Arts University Bournemouth | Perfect Circle

Student Residence, Arts University Bournemouth




£22 million


South West


Project in progress

CGI-of-block-3-at-Arts-University-Bournemouth HERO


In December 2016, Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) received an outline approval for the development of Plot Q, the land to the south of its existing campus.

The outline approval allowed for an extension of the campus to provide student residential accommodation with 297 bedrooms, additional car parking and structural landscaping. AUB achieved planning approval for the scheme in November 2017, with the construction scheduled to start in September 2018.

Perfect Circle was appointed under Scape Group's National Built Environment Consultancy Services framework to provide design consultancy services, leading a multidisciplinary team on the transformation of the site.


The proposed 9,000 square metre project will provide 269 cluster flats sharing a communal kitchen area; 23 apartments with their own kitchen facilities and five as accessible studios.

The extension strategy required new academic buildings, student residential accommodation, arrivals pavilion and structural landscaping. The scheme design also included a series of communal study and social spaces and external courtyards and gardens, with strategic landscape planting around the perimeter of the campus.

10 Fern Barrow Entrance Render


During the construction phase, the university will be a live site, which must be retained.

The design must be capable of future adaptations to meet ever-evolving needs of the university and built environment.


The design includes a range of innovations to ensure it meets the university’s requirement for future scheme flexibility and adaptability; a new sub-station is installed with the required redundancy to facilitate anticipated future adaptations; gas and water are being fed from the existing utilities supplies, which have enough capacity on the existing networks; and the steel frame structure allows for future adaptability, should the use of the blocks be changed from student accommodation to another use such as teaching spaces or offices.

This scheme also specified a number of energy-saving district heating networks, allowing for the removal of a plant room and the addition of a bedroom. An integrated building management system measures the water, gas and electric usage throughout the blocks.

The live site has provided students at AUB with the opportunity to visit the site to increase their construction knowledge.

10 Fern Barrow Entrance Render

There is also a Considerate Contractor Scheme being utilised on this project, which encourages local labour and apprenticeship schemes.

This project represents AUB’s first experience with Perfect Circle. After signing up to the framework, Perfect Circle has given the university access to an efficient direct-award procurement route, complete with the breadth of expertise provided by its supply chain, to deliver what will be a BREEAM Very Good project.

Engaging with the contractor and undertaking a cost saving exercise has also saved circa £400,000 and time-saving of seven weeks.

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