Student Accommodation, Leicester
Khoury Architects’ challenge was to balance the contextual requirements stipulated by Historic England with the commercial prerequisites of the developer while minimising the impact on the highways network and demonstrating sustainability and energy efficiency throughout.
Khoury Architects brief was to promote a vibrant and central hub for students seeking access to their university campus and city centre amenities. The site is located in a Conservation Area on a main arterial route into Leicester and houses an existing Victorian style office building with an extensive rear area of car parking. This had the effect of isolating the building from the surrounding townscape.
Following consultation with and advice from Leicester City Planning Department, Khoury Architects was required to present their proposals to the Conservation Advice Panel (CAP) prior to submission of a formal planning application.
Khoury Architects’ proposals included demolition to parts of the existing building as well as the reinstatement of the original façade to the ground floor, a change of use application and the construction of a 5 storey rear extension.
At a meeting of the Planning Committee in July 2018, Khoury Architects explained how the proposals met the contextual requirements of Historic England in terms of design, scale and materiality. The scale of the extension respects the proportions of the existing building and the use of red brick, with lighter coloured stone proposed for the top floor, are in keeping with the character of the conservation area.
All of the reports commissioned by Khoury Architects, including a Statement of Student Need, Transport Statement and Sustainable Drainage Strategy, were favourable and enhanced the case for a positive outcome by Leicester City Council. Planning permission was granted in July 2018 for 70 student flats. Since then, Khoury Architects has been managing and coordinating the discharge of all planning conditions and the construction of a gateway development into Leicester has now commenced. Completion is expected in time for the new student intake in September 2019.