Athena Studios

Athena Studios is a student accommodation complex in the heart of Selly Oak, directly opposite the University of Birmingham Edgbaston Campus.




Crosslane Group



jmarchitects were appointed as lead architects to design and deliver the new 259 bed student accommodation in Selly Oak, Birmingham.

Works included the demolition of an existing ambulance station and the erection of a four-storey northern block and adjoining five-storey southern block, providing 259 studio apartment style rooms, with associated landscaping, access roads and designated cycle spaces.

The accommodation is aimed at postgraduate students who prefer a greater level of independence. Each student is provided with their own en-suite facility and kitchenette, housing a refrigerator, microwave and cooking facilities.

Project gallery

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The Challenge

The design brief outlined by the client was to optimise the potential of the site by exploring options for a new high quality student accommodation scheme. However, due to its location the scheme was encompassed by planning sensitives from the outset. The Local Planning Authority became extremely engaged with the design proposal, in particular with regards to function and appearance

The Solution

Close collaboration with the design team, local authority and stakeholders enabled JM Architects to develop a design solution befitting of the clients ethos. By analysing the existing conditions and understanding the requirements of the proposal the scale, massing and materiality was developed through detail design to complement its surrounding environment whilst meeting the requirements of the client.

The Outcome

The clients brief and requirements for the site were met, with one homogenous unit tailored towards the postgraduate market being the preferred option. Each of the 259 bed spaces situated over four and five stories are self-contained apartments with one’s own kitchenette and en-suite bathroom. The scheme was completed in August 2015 with Unite taking up a 12 month operational contract from the Crosslane Group. In September 2015 the first intake of student resided within the building.

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