Unite Students unveils £82m accommodation after ‘challenging’ build

Manchester student development, Artisan Heights
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Student accommodation provider Unite Students has unveiled its latest £82m development in Manchester – and it comes with a karaoke room, cinema room and a ‘green roof’ terrace.

Built on the site of a former garage and music venue ‘Sound Control,’ Artisan Heights, which provides a home for 603 students, is located within walking distance of both Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester.

The £82.5m development in New Wakefield Street is a 32-storey tower block and sits adjacent to the river Medlock.

Reception area at new student development, Artisan Heights

Other facilities include two common rooms with study areas, meeting rooms, laundry, bike store, tea and coffee stations and games areas.

The building has been designed with glazed cut out features which can be seen on alternating corners at the top of the building and anodised metal façade help create a contemporary look which is sensitive to the surrounding area.

The development has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating and benefits from a green roof on level five comprising of a natural habitat to encourage insect and wildlife.

During construction, the team had to overcome several challenges which made completing this development one of Unite Students’ most challenging to date. Among the challenges were ground contamination, archaeological finds, abandoned culverts, and the discovery of a well.

In addition, the team had to overcome the complexities arising from Brexit and the pandemic including material shortages, ensuring a Covid-19 safe working environment and the resulting reduced numbers of operatives who could safely work on site.

Luke Brooker, project development manager at Unite Students, said: “It’s with great pride that we are able to open the doors of this fantastic building to students, especially in these uncertain times.

“The building sets a new standard of quality across the Unite Students portfolio.”

Matthew Loughlin, group development director at Unite Students, said: “This exciting new development is testament to the hard work displayed by staff and contractors to overcome some unique challenges. The development has been one of our most challenging to date.

“The combined effort allows us to bring the highest-quality accommodation to the area, along with providing studio flats and cluster bedrooms specifically designed for students. Those living with us will benefit from having on-site support services. The development also provides a number of communal facilities in a highly sought-after area of the city.”