Jenga-style Crow’s Nest towers stacked in favor of student accommodation
THE wacky verticality of Cork City’s newest Jenga-style student accommodation is just one of a series of developments intended to provide over 1,000 additional beds across the city in time for the next academic year.
Bookings are already underway for the three Victoria Cross towers, designed by award-winning architectural firm McCullough Mulvin, and inspired by the honey-coloured ‘tower houses’ of the classic Tuscan hilltop town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano.
The blocks, which have spaces between them to let in light and views, were built by University College Cork/Sisk and will add 255 beds to UCC’s existing student bed complement of c1300.
Bandon Road O’Mahony Pike’s largest student housing complex, Ashlin House, is also nearing completion.
Des Riordan, managing partner of Clancy Construction, the main contractors on the project on behalf of asset management firm Round Hill Capital, said they expect the five-block, 77-apartment complex to be ” largely completed in July” with a transfer at the end of August and ready for student admission for the coming academic year.
The development will be managed by Nido, a UK-based student accommodation provider already on site at the 145-bed Curraheen Point, formerly Gillan House on Farranlea Road, and who will also take over £12m Bróga House, an accommodation 280 bed student. complex built by John Paul Construction on the site of the former Square Deal Furniture store on Washington Street.
Bróga House is also nearing completion and is preparing for the admission of 2022/2023 students.
A little further down the development pipeline is Bmor Developments which plans to deliver 280-bed student accommodation on North Main Street for the 2023/2024 academic year.
Paul Irwin, director of BMOR, told the Irish Examiner: “Construction on North Main Street is well advanced and we are set to open in August 2023.” The development will be operated by Mezzino, The Westwood in Galway (394 beds) and Highfield House in Dublin (290 beds).
Meanwhile Bellmount Developments, which has planning permission for a £30 million 243-bed student accommodation complex at the former Kellehers Auto Center in Victoria Cross, hopes to innovate on the 0.22 hectare site of end of the year.
Bellmount’s Séamus Kelleher said they have yet to name a construction company, but hope to issue a tender soon.
He said the huge increase in student beds was “great for the city”.
“It takes people away from the housing rental market, which is a good thing,” he said.
Meanwhile, what will be the city’s largest student accommodation complex, in the former Coca-Cola bottling plant on Carrigrohane ‘Straight’ Road, is that site “is progressing well and is on track to be completed in the third quarter of 2023,” said a spokesperson for Farrans, the construction company delivering the 623-bed student complex.
The 10-storey development will have a gross floor area of approximately 19,267m² and will include an on-site gym and sky lounge with views of the River Lee.