Student accommodation provider, CityBlock has completed the build of its first development in Reading.
Opening in September 2017, the new development is situated on Kings Road, in the centre of Reading. The property, which has 146 student accommodation beds, houses a private dining room, study areas, lounges, a media room and a fitness studio.
Designed and built by Whittam Cox Architects and Torsion, the new development is worth £21 million and marks a significant landmark for CityBlock, as it is its first venture into the south of England. Built on what was formerly an office building, the new build has an industrial aesthetic, including exposed brickwork, reclaimed wood dining tables and stylish artwork, keeping in line with the look and feel of the original building.
CityBlock, who are ANUK accredited, say that they are renowned for effectively rejuvenating tired and disused buildings within cities, converting them into attractive offerings that provide benefits to a city’s students and wider communities. Within many of the buildings it develops, it welcomes commercial outlets to take up units in order to offer additional dining or socialising experiences for students and city residents.
As we do with every city we enter, we undertook extensive research into the psychology of students living in the city and discovered many prefer to have extra space allocated to communal areas in order to socialise and create happier experiences – so we made this our focus throughout – Alison Bargh, CityBlock’s Operations Director
CityBlock’s Operations Director, Alison Bargh, said: “When developing CityBlock 1 in Reading, we knew we had to take much more than just the building and its infrastructure into account. As we do with every city we enter, we undertook extensive research into the psychology of students living in the city and discovered many prefer to have extra space allocated to communal areas in order to socialise and create happier experiences – so we made this our focus throughout.
“The surroundings local to the development gave us inspiration for our aesthetic, and we have worked closely with Whittam Cox architects and Torison to ensure we remained true to Reading’s tradition and fingerprint, reflecting its industrious history both internally and externally.”
Speaking of CityBlock’s ongoing commitment to the cities it invests in and residents it welcomes, Bargh continued: “For over 15 years, we have prided ourselves on providing benefits to both students and the wider communities living amongst them, and there is a now a Simply Local shop utilising the commercial space on the ground floor of the development.
“We’re hugely experienced in the market and continue to acknowledge its advances and trends, but most important to us is understanding what’s important to our residents, and we apply this knowledge at every level of development and management.
“We are looking forward to opening our doors in September, and seeing the positive impact CityBlock has on Reading.”