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Supporting student welfare COMMENT


How can student accommodation create spaces that help promote wellbeing, combat isolation and prioritise community? Neil Smith from Scape gives some answers


located further afield, a sense of belonging and community is vital to help them thrive in their studies during these all-important years. This is even more true in the current climate of the pandemic. The ‘Gen Z’ student population expect their accommodation spaces to work as hard for them as they are working towards their own future while at university. Internet reviews, social media influences and the authenticity of user generated content has revolutionised the understanding of what their accommodation should look and feel like. Today, students expect accommodation not only to provide a living space that looks good aesthetically, but


A ADF NOVEMBER 2020


student’s experience can be substantially impacted by their choice in accommodation while at university. Whether students decide to stay close to campus, or prefer to be


also one that offers a sense of community, opportunities and a robust support system. We believe that building a sense of community and nurturing student wellbeing starts with design. Spaces need to function as facilitators for studying alongside social activity areas; incorporating important communal areas such as shared kitchens encourages residents to build a community, and lifelong connections. At Scape, our communal spaces follow a design philosophy that, above all else, offers comfort and practicality. For example, kitchens are a major hub of activity, with students from varying backgrounds sharing recipes, food and experiences. In communal study areas, desk spaces can be designed to reduce surrounding noise, providing students with an area they can escape


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