Cutting edge interior design and first-class features signal the next generation of student accommodation

Cutting edge interior design and first-class features signal the next generation of student accommodation


  • Collegiate AC presents first biophilic design site in Lisbon
  • Students look forward to swimming pools and saunas in the new academic year
  • First Collegiate Prestige Collection site features visionary interior design

The UK purpose built student accommodation sector attracted £3.1 billion of investment in 2016, according to Knight Frank. Meanwhile, PwC has flagged student accommodation as one of Europe’s top three alternative real estate investment options for 2017.

Given this impressive scenario, it is perhaps no wonder that leading student accommodation providers are stepping up their game.


“The 2017/18 academic year is going to see some incredible sites open. Each year marks further innovation in the student accommodation sector, but this September is due to mark a step change in this huge market.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


The Collegiate AC team is excited about being part of the new era of student accommodation. 2017 will mark both the opening of the visionary provider’s first overseas site – Collegiate Marquês de Pombal in Lisbon – and the launch of its first Prestige Collection site – Ernest Place in Durham.

Designing two such ultra-opulent sites has been an exciting experience for the Collegiate interior design team.

In Lisbon, a localised blend of industrial chic, art and nature has given the site an incredibly unique character. In the natural light-filled Skylight Lounge, students can relax in between olive trees, flower beds and long, hanging fronds of foliage. Just off the lounge, the stunning swimming pool area uses ceramic tiles and bespoke furniture pieces to create a fabulous sense of luxury.


“We’ve used biophilic design concepts at Marquês de Pombal to provide residents with the wellness benefits associated with a deep connection to nature. At the same time, we’ve introduced a wealth of cultural quirks to reflect the unique atmosphere of Lisbon. The huge artwork of the main façade, painted by a locally commissioned artist, is reflective of the spirit and feel of the site.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC

The new Ernest Place site in Durham is just as exciting. The cutting edge interior design has created a sophisticated scheme, with bold elements that surprise and charm. The building is playful in its approach to atmospheres. The common room oozes warmth, with timber, brass and copper creating a relaxed, welcoming environment. By contrast, the impressive Sky Lounge offers a deliciously dark and moody atmosphere. Meanwhile the rooftop terrace provides an ultra-contemporary, chic outdoor bar vibe. And for those moments where ultimate relaxation is required, the fresh, natural feel of the sauna is just the ticket.


As well as crafting superb communal areas, Collegiate’s interior design team has paid particular attention to the bedrooms available to students in Lisbon and Durham.


Sleekly designed storage solutions provide plenty of space for possessions, while clever spatial planning has ensured that each student can get maximum use out of their available space. Rooms are designed to allow for resting, working, socializing, cooking, eating, and entertaining. They are at once homely and sophisticated in their design, as well as drawing on local inspiration. In Lisbon, the influence of the blue and white patterned azulejos (tiles) for which Portugal is so well known, can really be felt in the serene surroundings of the scheme’s bedrooms.


“Our approach has always been to deliver a lifestyle – an experience. Now, we’ve used visionary interior design to kick that up a notch. It’s about creating something more than just a simple home for students – this is accommodation that challenges and excites. It’s the perfect setting for an unforgettable university experience.”


Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO, Collegiate AC


For more information, contact Collegiate on +44 1235 250 140 or visit