Canley UniVillage

Canley UniVillage aims to create a ‘home from home’ for 452 students.

Situated within the site of the preceding Canley Sports and Social Club, Canley UniVillage reflects the residential nature of its environment with 38 student clusters arranged vertically in rows of terraced townhouses that capture shared, intimate landscaping between their stepping frontages. The communal hub building occupies a pivotal position at the entrance to the community, providing a wealth of amenities to residents whilst its form shifts across levels to create outdoor terraces that activate and interact with the suburban courtyards.

    With the exception of the blocks along the northern edge of the site, the townhouses
    are arranged with alternating orientations in order to activate all the external amenity

    This prominence is then further emphasised by offsetting the townhouse elements,
    allowing the front elevation, with the main entrance and ground floor communal space,
    to engage more directly with the external spaces, whilst giving some privacy to the rear,
    bedroom-only façades.

    The townhouse are treated with two contrasting bricks to illustrate their individual forms.

    The Management & Recreation Suite is situated at the access point to the site and
    includes communal facilities for all resident students as well as management and
    operations spaces over three floors.

    The two upper storeys are slipped north to create covered entry to ground floor reception.

    A south-facing rooftop resident amenity space is created, allowing communal spaces
    to spill out and overlook the wider open green spaces central to the site.

    The mass to the upper floor is reduced further to allow the rooftop amenity space to take full advantage of the south-westerly aspect.

The intimate landscaping and shared townhouse approach is designed to foster a better community spirit.

Placing importance on creating a ‘home from home’ for residents, the design distances itself from the more institutional flatted layout traditionally expressed in student accommodation. The dwellings are instead arranged vertically in clusters of 9, 10 or 13 bedrooms that are 3 or 4 storeys respectively, with each cluster taking ownership of its own front door. Distribution of this change in levels across the site gives a more organic neighbourhood aesthetic, which is enhanced by breaks in terraces that allow free movement between outdoor spaces.


The interlocking language of the townhouses is expressed through their playful architectural form and façade materiality. The frontages of each dwelling are differentiated either in white or dark grey brick with a sheltered entrance and transparent wall of glazing at ground floor that opens the common space to the outdoor green spaces.






Obarcs No. 5 LLP + CPSC Ltd


Planning Approved




452 Beds


Project Manager : Ailsa-TH
Planning Consultant : Sykes Planning
Civil + Structural :
Prime Structural Solutions
M+E : Butler Consulting
Quantity Surveyor : Ailsa-TH
Landscaping : Ian White Associates