Lucia Foster Welch Student Accommodation, Southampton

Client: Optivo Housing Association

Sector: Student Accommodation


The refurbishment of the Lucia Foster Welch complex in Southampton including two student residential buildings which, between them, contain 327 room and 6,300 sqm of accommodation


Built in the 1990s and with no major improvement works since, the accommodation was looking tired. An appropriate solution was required to increase occupancy and create a more supportive environment for the students.


A stunning Grade II Listed Victorian goods shed sat on the site adjacent to the blocks of accommodation and could be brought into the equation to fulfil the client’s brief.

Processes and insights

An audit was undertaken to ascertain why the current building was struggling to attract prospective students. Armed with this information the team were able to pull together a solution to provide the environment required for the needs of the modern student.


The goods shed was repurposed from its use as a car park to provide a dedicated student pavilion including a courtyard with a piano and projector, co-working, meeting spaces, games area and a basketball/five-a-side pitch.


The dramatic and distinctive setting of the goods shed, and the benefit of the new facilities provided a much-needed enhancement to the welfare of the students on the site.

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