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Alumno launches event to mark the opening of Leeds student residence

Alumno launches event to mark the opening of Leeds student residence

Alumno, the specialist student accommodation developer, has officially opened a striking mixed-use six and seven-storey building in Leeds that will provide accommodation for the city’s growing student population and features an onsite Asian street food restaurant.  The Terry Frost Building, named after the celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds

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Alumno rebrands to mark 15 years of revolutionising student housing

Marking 15 years of taking a unique, pioneering and award-winning approach to developing student accommodation, Alumno has launched new branding and an accompanying video. The move also enables the business to celebrate its exciting and highly successful journey to date and drive forward with renewed vigour into the recovery. The

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New Manchester student residence reaches topping out stage

Much needed new accommodation for Manchester’s growing student community developed by Alumno has reached the landmark topping out stage on schedule with the structure of the building now complete. Built on a site south of the city centre previously occupied by the disused Church Inn public house and close to

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

alumno

Alumno launches event to mark the opening of Leeds student residence

Alumno launches event to mark the opening of Leeds student residence

Alumno, the specialist student accommodation developer, has officially opened a striking mixed-use six and seven-storey building in Leeds that will provide accommodation for the city’s growing student population and features an onsite Asian street food restaurant.  The Terry Frost Building, named after the celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds College of Art, was designed by architects Howarth Litchfield, built by GMI Construction Group and project managed by RPS Group. The new 11,955 square metre project on Whitelock Street in the Sheepscar district of the city has regenerated a run-down, disused site and comprises 105 units that will house 411 students. Facilities include a range of communal areas, including a central hub, gym, cinema, laundry room, roof terrace with a garden and extensive secure bicycle storage.  “Sheepscar was a thriving Irish quarter with many industries including coal extraction, brickmaking and, perhaps most notably, Burmantofts Pottery nearby,” explained Jonathan Yates, Managing Director at Howard Litchfield. “The predominance of brickwork in the facades is a clear reference to this urban, industrial and artisan heritage and celebrates the former clay pits to the west. We are delighted with how the design has evolved, which cascades down from west to east to the dramatic prow at the Sheepscar Interchange creating a new landmark gateway for the northern city and offering spectacular views of the city to the south.” As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities living adjacent to its projects, Alumno has commissioned artworks that have been integrated into the public areas surrounding the development. The atrium features a large frieze based on an abstract painting by Frost. Inspired by Frost’s work, Yorkshire-based poet Zaffar Kunial has written a poem cast into the brickwork at the building’s entrance. Meanwhile, Kunial’s work based on the ‘hidden river’ Sheepscar Beck, which runs to the rear of the site before disappearing under Leeds city centre, is built into the retaining wall of the development’s ‘eternal rain garden’ where ceramics by local artist Ameila Wood will also be permanently displayed. At the recent opening event, Frost’s son Anthony unveiled a plaque in honour of his late father. Specially commissioned photography on Leeds by Peter Dench is also on display, along with work from finalists of Photo North, an annual photography exhibition and student competition sponsored by Alumno. Cocktails and refreshments were provided by a local distillery and brewery.  “We have been creating student accommodation around the UK for over 15 years and are delighted to be opening our latest completed project in Leeds,” said Alumno Managing Director David Campbell. “Whitelock Street is the perfect location due its proximity to the universities and city centre, and we believe this development will be a great addition to the Sheepscar district and offer significant regeneration benefits. It will also make more housing available to local people by alleviating the need for students to rent family homes privately in the area.”  Andrew Hurcomb, Divisional Managing Director Yorkshire, from GMI Construction, said: “We are exceptionally proud to have delivered this landmark development as part of our ongoing and successful relationship with Alumno. The Terry Frost Building is helping to set the standard for purpose-built student accommodation, which is sustainably designed and built to meet the needs of Leeds’ growing student population.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals 

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Alumno rebrands to mark 15 years of revolutionising student housing

Marking 15 years of taking a unique, pioneering and award-winning approach to developing student accommodation, Alumno has launched new branding and an accompanying video. The move also enables the business to celebrate its exciting and highly successful journey to date and drive forward with renewed vigour into the recovery. The new simple, classic logo design by Graphic Thought Facility puts the Alumno name centre stage within a circle of soft blue. “It projects a well-crafted, purposeful and human image, reflective of a company with soul,” according to Graphic Thought Facility Creative Director Andy Stevens. This perfectly aligns with Alumno’s continuing mission to change the perception of student accommodation by creating unique buildings that reflect the heritage of the local area and make a valuable contribution to the communities within which they are built, while working hard for occupants. “We believe we always manage to get these elements working together in harmony – and that’s what helps make us unique,” explains Alumno managing director David Campbell in the accompanying video, which distils the developer’s design-led philosophy of delivering exceptional functionality and key community benefits, incorporating work by local artists and supporting local causes. It succinctly tells the Alumno story, using striking imagery of its developments and the local art incorporated into them. “Their schemes are unique and bespoke to the local area, with the arts elements always site specific,” said art curator Matthew Jarratt, who works closely with Alumno to commission the artistic elements of each building. “They also work with exceptional designers for their interior spaces and great landscape architects for their public spaces, so there’s a lot of attention to detail, and it’s this commitment to design which makes them stand out.” Commenting on how the pandemic affected Alumno and what the future holds, Campbell said: “It was tough, but like everyone we have managed to keep going, delivering several buildings and some of our best. So, it’s shown we are resilient and have strong foundations. It’s also driven us to try harder and build better, even more ambitious developments that reflect the ongoing changes in how we all live and study. “We currently have five projects on site across the country. Our mission going forward is to create diverse buildings that continue to offer more to residents and communities, and we will keep raising the bar. We also want to ensure we continue to provide affordable accommodation offering a good blend of rents for all budgets.” Alumno is also starting to explore opportunities for life after university as the bridge before homeownership. “Affordable, single person accommodation is a major theme and issue impacting on all towns and cities throughout the UK,” said Campbell.

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New Manchester student residence reaches topping out stage

Much needed new accommodation for Manchester’s growing student community developed by Alumno has reached the landmark topping out stage on schedule with the structure of the building now complete. Built on a site south of the city centre previously occupied by the disused Church Inn public house and close to major arterial road The Mancunian Way, the nine-storey building will consist of 62 studio apartments, along with a communal area, rooftop terrace, office and storage space for 16 bikes. Landscaping will also be carried out to highlight the history of the site, with the reclaimed facade bricks being used to create a bespoke seating area outside the development. The location is close to a range of facilities and departments of Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Business School and the University of Manchester. Built by the GMI Construction Group, the development supports two key ambitions of Manchester City Council. First, to prioritise purpose-built student accommodation to protect family homes from conversion to multiple occupation properties. Second, to achieve a zero-carbon target for Manchester by establishing student accommodation close to educational establishments, reducing the need for travel and minimising emissions. Scheduled for completion for the start of the 2022 academic year, the development has been designed by Carson & Partners to enhance and complement the local area. It will also directly benefit the adjacent community, with Alumno partnering charity One Manchester to secure a £50,000 fund for local community projects. “We are also working to provide pioneering navigation aids using GPS wayfinding technology to help visually impaired students, and will install CCTV surveillance equipment to ensure the site is safe and secure, and deter anti-social behaviour,” explained Alumno Managing Director David Campbell. “I’m delighted we have reached this landmark stage on schedule, and as usual with our student residences, look forward to commissioning new public art to further enhance the public space around the building.” Commenting on the development, Iain Carson from Carson & Partners said: “It’s exciting to see another of our projects with Alumno that will rejuvenate and enhance the local area reach the topping out stage.” Marc Banks of GMI added: “Getting to this stage is a real team effort, and we’re all looking forward to going full steam ahead to ensure students can benefit from the building in 2022.”

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