Aberdeen completes Hillhead Student Village refurbishment. By Kirstin Annand, Operations Manager, University of Aberdeen
At the centre of the village stood the ‘Central Building’ a tired ’60s build housing a reception, bar, study and social spaces. It was generally accepted that the building was outdated and did not meet the needs of today’s students. A project board was established in 2013 as well as user groups and forums for discussions on how the look should be aesthetically pleasing and also encompass study, health and wellbeing, sports and social activity within the residences. Student experience was a major focus on how the building would be utilised and in turn its visual look.
The completed building creates a vibrant Hub, allowing the University to put Student Life at the core of their business.
â— Prior to the refurbishment the reception was uninviting and confusing to students. Now the area is bright with one focal point which is manned 24/7 by University staff.
â— The wow factor of a large red wall, stone cladding and a glass frontage has transformed the building entrance.
â— The Community Hub was a new concept to encourage both formal and informal interaction amongst residents. It is managed by Student Support team; Manager and Residents Assistants and a programme of activities and events has been created to support residents in both learning and social interaction including: a community kitchen, a space where residents can book a space to hold dinners with friends, a soundproofed music room, meeting room, lounge and TV room.
â— The Café Bar was previously a traditional dining room and the new space was deliberately designed to allow for both casual dining and formal events. In addition there is also space for learning, lectures and studying.
â— The original games hall was drab with limited usage. It was transformed with moveable seating, a stage, lighting and sound options.
â— Original study rooms with rows of desktop computers were replaced with less formal study areas to include single and group study. The rooms are also equipped to address the digital age.
It is hoped that going forward all students residing in the Student Village will grasp all their opportunities and embrace the Student Experience.