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Student Hotel adds to Italian portfolio with Bologna opening

Dutch Group, The Student Hotel, has further international plans to expand horizons for student accommodation

Posted by Hannah Oakman | July 11, 2016 | International

The Student Hotel, the Dutch group that pioneered a hybrid model of high-quality hospitality, unveils its designs for a second property in Bologna, Italy.

Adding to its eleven-strong portfolio of properties, including a site in Florence, The Student Hotel has purchased the ex-Telecom office building located in the Quartiere Navile district of Bologna for development.

The neighbourhood has experienced a steady transformation since its emergence in the 1960s. In the last ten years, the streets of Navile have seen new bars, events and cultural initiatives, creating a multicultural and sustainable neighbourhood, largely populated by students, young professionals, artists and creatives.

The building currently has a total area of 11,200 m² and a 2-level underground parking space. Over recent years, the future of the vacant office building was subject to intense debate. The Student Hotel will reopen the property to the public with new meeting places for citizens, students, entrepreneurs and visitors to stay, study, work and relax. The courtyard will become a public space surrounded by a café, a restaurant, co-working spaces and other facilities.

“The ex-Telecom building,” says Matteo Fantoni, the architect of the project, “has a great potential to act as a stimulus to upgrade the Navile neighbourhood. We are confident that The Student Hotel has the perfect skills to give a fresh and lively identity to the building: a young, dynamic and creative design which will become a public plaza, a social gathering of the city ruled by innovation, exchange and recreation.”

Opening in summer 2018, The Student Hotel Bologna will be redesigned and fully refurbished, mirroring the successful concept established in the Netherlands. Contemporary architecture will frame the hotel and students’ rooms and studios, with a library, study areas, meeting and conference rooms, an incubator for start-ups, a games room, gym and bicycle fleet.

“We are proud to announce our second Italian project in one of the world’s oldest and most famous university cities,” says Charlie MacGregor, the company’s CEO and founder. “Via our fast growing international network of student hotels we can support the Bologna community in its ambition to be a world class region for innovation and talent. We look forward to working with local business, university and travel partners.”

The Student Hotel, which currently operates over 3000 rooms in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Barcelona and Paris, and will shortly be opening accommodation in Eindhoven and Florence, aims to reach 15,000 rooms by 2020 through a programme of similar acquisitions in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Working to bring its new concept to several cities in Italy, The Student Hotel is also looking for properties in Rome, Milan, Turin and Venice. This will mark a new chapter for co-living where leisure and business travellers and students share spaces, connect, and inspire each other.

Francesco Uberti, Dean of the Universiti degli Studi di Bologna, says: “The continuing growth and internationalisation of Bologna’s student population requires new facilities and student accommodation. 

"It is good for Bologna that we have public and private partners like The Student Hotel to invest in such projects.”

Bologna has a population of around 380,000 inhabitants from which 77,000 are university students. The origins of the university go far back in history: Bologna is considered to be home to the first university in the Western world. Its history is intertwined with that of the great names of science and literature and, over the centuries, it has been a touchstone for European culture. With the arrival of The Student Hotel, the city of Bologna will strengthen its connections with other European centres of innovation and encourage exchanges. 

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