The project included contemporary internal renovations to six purpose-built blocks of student accommodation, including bedrooms, new kitchens, circulation and associated services, as well as the internal refurbishment to the historical Rowan House building, originally constructed in 1876.
Designed by ADP Architecture, the halls provide 241 study bedrooms, with the majority en-suite, in flats suitable for five to ten people – aiming to cater for different student needs and budgets.
Works also included the remodelling of the ground floor reception laundries and refurbishment to the student common room, waiting area as well as reception, and staff provision and stores. Existing damp was also treated in the renovated basement area, providing the main plant room and IT Server room.
Rob Speirs, regional director at Stepnell, said: “We are delighted to have completed the re-development of the Paul Kent Hall student accommodation at Oxford Brookes, which will provide excellent study and communal spaces that account for the needs of modern student life.
“I would like to thank Oxford Brookes and ADP Architecture in helping to deliver this project on schedule despite the challenging year. We are excited for the upcoming undergraduate and postgraduate student intake arriving in September who will be making this fantastic accommodation their home for the upcoming university year.”
Mark Tugwell, deputy director of estates and campus services at Oxford Brookes, said: “Oxford Brookes University is committed to providing high-quality accommodation options for its students. The redevelopment of Paul Kent Hall is a key part of this and we are delighted that the University was able to work effectively and safely with Stepnell despite the impact of Covid-19. The improvements to Paul Kent Hall will help to ensure a positive student experience by providing high-quality rooms, enhanced indoor social spaces and a greater range of accommodation options to suit affordability and personal living preferences.”
The 48-week programme – registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme, involving engagement with the local community – was the fourth project delivered by Stepnell for Oxford Brookes University and received a Beyond Compliance certificate. The latest project follows the delivery of the contemporary £6.25 million refurbishment for the university’s Sinclair building last year, transforming it into a modern teaching, research and study space for the university’s faculty of health and life science.
Robert added: “We were really pleased to have been given the opportunity to develop another one of Oxford Brookes’ key buildings close to its Headington campus. It is important that students are provided with modern accommodation that combines clean and practical spaces for studying with comfortable living spaces to enable them to live well and settle into university life.”