Peffermill Student Residence

The University of Edinburgh’s Peffermill Sports Village creates a unique proposition in Edinburgh by co-locating accommodation and sporting facilities to both attract sporting events and training camps as well as providing student accommodation for the University. The residence is set within a green landscape to promote health and well-being and connections to the state-of-the-art sports facilities.




The University of Edinburgh



The Peffermill Sports Village proposals provide a home to 573 students living in residences adjacent to one of the best new sports facilities in the country. The redevelopment of The University of Edinburgh’s Peffermill site expands upon and enhances the existing provision with a new sports pavilion and additional external facilities co-located with student accommodation.

The goal of the residence building is to provide high quality Undergraduate and Postgraduate student accommodation and use as an Athlete’s Village and / or conferencing accommodation during the summer months. The Postgraduate and Undergraduate Accommodation is set within cluster flat arrangements with communal facilities including laundry, private dining, music practice and common areas. The residences are surrounded by generous green landscaped areas which enhance the local ecology and include access to raised beds for students to grow their own food.

Workshops with UofE Estates and Accommodation Services have resulted in careful examination of the aspects of the design affecting the student experience. The building footprint and layout have been considered to make the most of the ‘green’ setting within the landscape, as well as addressing the wider masterplan.

Detailed design has been undertaken to create bedroom and kitchen/living room layouts that benefit from good levels of natural daylight and views to the landscape. The design challenge at the outset of the project was to provide every bedroom with a view to the landscape.

The site offers ample opportunity to explore the principles of biophilic design; a process of incorporating direct or indirect elements of nature into the built environment.

Design and M&E solutions aim to significantly reduce the energy requirements and the CO2 emission of the new building, exceeding the requirements of the current Scottish Technical Standards. The building has also been designed to exceed the current Building Regulations in terms of fire safety.

Connections between the residence and the sports centre will be achieved through improved landscaping and the creation of a Trim Trail – a walking and running path which will encourage walking and running with a direct path also linking the building entrances.

The Challenge

To create a new residence within the Peffermill site which will meet the University’s needs to provide dedicated student accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students adjacent to the sports facilities as well as creating a sports village during the summer.

The Solution

The new residence is located to the western corner of the Peffermill sports site, retaining the existing trees to the perimeter of the site and designed to create external green landscaped spaces that integrate with the Braid burn, enhancing the local ecology and biodiversity whilst also providing excellent amenity spaces for the residents.

The Outcome

The three interconnected Y-Form buildings meet the challenge of providing every student room with a direct view to the trees and enhanced landscape setting surrounding the site. Both the student and sports village residents benefit from the integration with the sports facilities and the health and wellbeing benefits of being located within this enhanced green landscape setting.

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