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‘Happiness-driven’ student housing project launched

A new purpose-built student accommodation project in London is hoping to raise the standard of student wellbeing, aiming to become the UK capital’s hub for happy students.

The building focuses heavily on the wellbeing of students. Photo: The Project

With international students making up 92% of residents, the Project at Hoxton in London has added an inclusive design and events program to “combat loneliness and encourage connection”.

“A lot of the international students have not experienced such a focus on wellbeing before”

The Project provides 273 bedrooms consisting of studios, ‘twodios’ and shared apartments.

The development was purchased by investment manager M&G in December for £79m.

“The building focuses heavily on the wellbeing of students and this appears to be particularly attractive,” a spokesperson for Host, which runs the accommodation’s operations, said.

“A lot of the international students have not experienced such a focus on wellbeing before and therefore find this very beneficial when they come to us.”

Common areas in the accommodation have been designed to suit student ‘moods’, and a digital detox area without Wi-Fi encourages reduced screen time and a break from “the pressures of the internet and social media”.

A communal roof terrace also features recordings taken directly from Epping Forest and is designed to help students relax and get back to nature.

“The Project at Hoxton sets a precedent for quality and research-led design in this sector,” said senior development manager at Tiger Developments, Keith Dean.

“The student accommodation market is rapidly changing with growth at the top end.

“Within this competitive market, it’s critical we deliver buildings that enhance the student experience, and this goes hand-in-hand with responding to their wellbeing and welfare needs.”

This sentiment has been echoed across the student accommodation market in recent times. Earlier in 2019, GSA’s student wellbeing specialist Bobbi Hartshorne said that “failing to invest in [wellbeing] will be the end of your business”.

Along with wellbeing initiatives, such as yoga and cooking lessons, the student management Project Guide curates a specialised social activity “extending far beyond that of a typical student accommodation site manager”, according to the provider.

A 24-hour on-site staff presence is available throughout the week to help students – currently from 47 different countries – navigate London for the first time.

Staff also help students set up bank accounts and ensure they complete their visa requirements, among other things.

“Wellbeing and welfare are primary to The Project at Hoxton’s ethos,” Kate Wojciechowski, South East regional manager at Host noted.

The accommodation the latest project developed by Tiger Developments in association with its sister company Host Student Housing, bringing the total number of student beds developed to over 12,500 in the UK and Europe.

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