Plummer House Newcastle, UK
Plummer House in Newcastle involved the complete internal and external transformation of an unused Grade II listed building into a high- quality, 250 bed space, student accommodation development.
Originally designed as living accommodation and function rooms, Plummer House had been adapted into office accommodation and a furniture shop in the last half of the twentieth century. Vacant, dilapidated and no longer fit for purpose, it was decided to change its use and transform this unused Grade II listed building into a high – quality, 250 bed space, student accommodation.
At the heart of the scheme was the sensitive refurbishment of the Grade II listed Plummer House and Ball Room. We also paid particular attention to an adjacent SAM (Scheduled Ancient Monument) in the reconfiguration of the site. The conservation architect was keen to create breathing space for the tower, improve its setting whilst still delivering a viable number of apartments.
Our scheme was designed to meet the needs of today’s students and enhance the student’s higher education experience as well as benefiting the wider community and local businesses.
Plummer House had been placed on a register of listed buildings that were at risk due to lack of investment if they were not redeveloped.
The decision had been made to change its use into student accommodation, utilising the potential of students to bring life back to this historic landmark and kick start the regeneration in this area of Newcastle.
The listed building was retained and the twentieth century elements to the rear were demolished to make the development conducive for a residential purpose. The designs innovatively overcame the higher floor to ceiling height on the first floor of the development, enabling student bedrooms to be a viable solution. Furthermore, part of the listed building was detached from the main listed building so we devised a way for it to be retained and built over to provide the additional accommodation space.
At the heart of the scheme was the sensitive refurbishment of the Grade II listed Plummer House and Ball Room.
The city-centre location was recognised within our design which worked to improve the appearance/aesthetic within the urban fabric of the city.
We paid particular attention to an adjacent SAM (Scheduled Ancient Monument) in the reconfiguration of the site. The original building was built tight to the boundary and the conservation architect was keen to create breathing space for the tower and improve its setting whilst still delivering a viable number of apartments.
The stunning accommodation units all have fully fitted contemporary kitchens, individual study space, storage space and double beds. High-speed broadband and Wi-Fi with unlimited data is fitted and available throughout as standard.
It also includes refurbishment of the ground floor retail space of Plummer Tower and the introduction of new courtyard gardens responding to the context of the adjacent Plummer Tower.
In conjunction with their own private study space, the design incorporates a mix of sophisticated, high quality, comfortable and pioneering communal spaces suitable for both learning and socialising. Accessible 24 hours a day, these spaces guarantee a learning environment that suites the end users particular requirements, whether this is individual or group work, quiet or animated. It was essential to provide a combination of tailored environments to ensure that the end user has a balance suitable for developing their academic prowess and stimulate social interaction. These elements are befitting for the next chapter in their educational journey and preparing the individual for the modern working environment.
The building also incorporates social amenity and ancillary spaces, a 24-hour private gym, concierge service and management team. The latter provides a daily service and point of contact. The development is also accredited by ANUK, the rented accommodation standards body.
The design ensures the building relates harmoniously to its streetscape whilst providing an attractive living and learning environment. For the wider community, it incorporates a retail offer, generates an active and engaging frontage and stimulates links between the city centre and Carliol Square.
With a mix of units comprised of bed-deck mezzanine apartments within the listed Plummer House, along with new-build studios and cluster apartments, the development offers elegant and innovative design-led apartments, providing relaxing and spacious student living accommodation that caters for all requirements and financial demographics.