Old Printworks Student Accommodation

Located within the bustling Newington area of Edinburgh, part of the city’s Southside Conservation Area, The Old Printworks is a new 5 storey, 237 bed purpose-built student accommodation development offering 44 studio apartments,193 beds in clusters of between three to nine flats and a range of high quality communal facilities, including social rooms, quiet study spaces, laundry, gym, external landscaped courtyards and covered secure cycle storage.

Ideally situated between The Meadows and Holyrood Park, it provides Edinburgh’s growing student population with contemporary, premium accommodation within a short 10 minute walk to the University of Edinburgh’s main campus, and only a little further north, the city centre and all major transport links.




Crosslane Student Developments on behalf of Unite



Students are increasingly discerning about the type of accommodation they live in, expecting a higher quality and broader range of facilities to complete their university experience, especially given the rise in tuition fees. As a result, this creates a growing demand from undergraduates and postgraduates, for high quality purpose built student accommodation developments that are located in desirable areas close to the university campus and offer competitive pricing and a wealth of amenities, including onsite management.

To cater for all demographics it was important for The Old Printworks development to incorporate both studio apartments, which are generally favoured by international and postgraduate students, and cluster flats, which are generally preferred by full-time undergraduates.

The diversity of accommodation options and higher weighting of cluster flats was designed to create a collaborative community of peers. Students can also enjoy a range of high quality communal facilities to encourage socialising and provide a well round university experience in which they can study and collaborate. These facilities include a spacious common room, meeting spaces, laundry facilities, on-site gym and bike storage. There are flat-screen TVs provided in the kitchens of all shared flats and superfast Wi-Fi is provided throughout the building.

Project gallery

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The Challenge

Careful consideration of the building’s historical context was a key factor in determining the final configuration and massing of the project. The main five storey residential block of the building fronts onto Bernard Terrace with three lower level (2, 3 & 4 storey) ‘wings’ leading off the main building, each of which incorporates a green ‘living’ roof to not only assist with controlling water run off and acoustics, but create a more tranquil and green environment. 

The Solution

The design unlocks the maximum potential of the site through its ‘fork’ like footprint which creates 2 private outdoor courtyard spaces, sensitively landscaped to echo the architectural blend of old and new. These quiet and sheltered south facing courtyard gardens with seating set in amongst brick landscape walls are ideal for the students to enjoy being outdoors. The planting is high quality and varied including traditional herbaceous hedging and shrubs combined with more exotic magnolias and Tibetan cherry trees.

The Outcome

The Old Printworks was delivered on time, on budget and was fully let at the time of its opening, before the start of the 2017/18 academic year. This is testament to the fact that The Old Printworks offers the facilities and services that meet students’ needs and helps to meet the huge demand for purpose-built, high-quality, student accommodation in the popular university city of Edinburgh.

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