CityBlock is a company with over 15 years of experience in the student accommodation sector, with stylish, high quality developments in Lancaster, Reading & Durham. CityBlock properties are a mixture of self-contained studios and individual en-suite rooms close to the universities they serve. In preparation for the 2017/18 academic year, CityBlock expanded its portfolio with a new complex in Reading. In order to remain competitive in the student accommodation market CityBlock wanted to deliver innovative and quirky spaces to differentiate itself from competitors.
Architects, Whittam Cox, were tasked with designing a unique, modern, social living space for the residents of Berkshire House. To achieve this, it took a space that had previously been used as offices and created a valuable asset to both students, and the wider community. The final design comprised a fitness zone, media rooms, private dining rooms, study area, communal lounge, on-site laundry and lettings office. Glass partitioning was a key element of the project, creating a fluid, open space whilst still providing an element of division between the different areas.
CityBlock wanted to keep the industrial character and aesthetic of the original building, but to also make it a functional area that would be used time and time again. Floors, ceilings and exposed brickwork were a common theme throughout.
Craft Interior was instrumental in the design and delivery of the Ocula system; FS25 aluminium channel was fixed concrete floor to ceiling, facilitating a raked glass partition working with the natural slope created by its previous use, seamlessly linking full height single aluminium framed doors with a crisp grey slimline doorframe. Aluminium grills, which were needed for ventilation in the kitchens, were also integrated within the glass to create a bespoke contemporary solution.
This was a distinctive, one of a kind project using the FS25 range to create sleek, vogue design.
“Working closely with our project architect, Whittam Cox, we knew the exact aesthetic direction we wanted our debut development in Reading to take. Ocula was able to provide the glazing products needed to meet these requirements, ensuring residents of CityBlock had an on-trend and high spec home.”
“Ocula Systems were a pleasure to work with throughout the scheme, assisting in providing workable solutions to overcome some complex issues when converting a previous underground car park with a severe sloping soffit into a fantastic dining and relaxation area for the students.”