Polden Corner Student Accommodation, University of Bath

Customer Bath University
Developer Vinci Construction
Installation Contractor MIB Façades (aluminium cladding) / Szerelmey Ltd (stone)
Product Ali Stone 2 System – Jura Beige Limestone Honed Finish, and Alucovering – P System with anodised panels

The brief

Aliva UK was commissioned to design and supply a luxurious, textured aluminium facade and a bespoke backing structure for stone elements at the new Polden Corner buildings; a 293-bed student living scheme for the University of Bath’s Claverton Down campus. In addition to accommodation, Polden Corner features a gym, a shared courtyard, a communal lounge and meeting suites as extra study space for group working. Architect Stride Treglown was tasked with delivering a modern, aspirational building for postgraduate life, which complemented Bath’s local aesthetics and existing buildings on campus.

What we did

Main contractor Vinci appointed two separate installation contractors to oversee the external works a Polden Corner; MIB Facades for the aluminium elements, and Szerelmey for the stone. Aliva produced two specific sets of designs, tailored installation guidance and ensured clear communication between all parties throughout; to ensure consistency of appearance and performance in the building’s envelope. Aluminium cladding was chosen for large sections of the exterior, to chime with the aesthetics of a nearby psychology building on campus. Beyond its striking, shimmering appearance, aluminium cladding is also sustainable. Aliva’s Ali Stone 2 system was the natural choice of substructure to support the new building’s stone façade cladding. Its strong and versatile aluminium alloy frame can come with a range of option to accommodate the stone cladding; in this case the Jura beige limestone best reflected the clients’ chosen façade tiling and matching with the existing buildings nearby. Aliva was challenged to design external systems for four individual blocks at Polden Corner, ranging from 4-7 storeys, without compromising on acoustic & thermal benefits or fire safety across the building. In total, 5,000sqm of Jura limestone backing and 500sqm of aluminium cladding were required, presenting significant engineering challenges in accommodating the building’s prominent features. Aliva’s detailed design work was further complicated by changes to the building’s concrete structure during the construction phase. With exterior works on all four blocks running concurrently, Aliva’s in-depth planning, agility and coordination were key to the project’s success, with the full programme delivered on time and budget for the client.

What makes it special

The building’s stunning exterior contributed to its recognition at the Insider South West Residential Property Awards 2019, where it was shortlisted in the ‘Student Accommodation Development of the Year’ category.