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A New Living SPACE

New student accommodation set for 2024


As we approach the end of the Martinmas semester, shivers crawl down your spine and not because of the weather (as freezing as it is) but because of the dreaded question: “Where am I living next year?” And as you search “how do I tell my friend I don’t want to live with them next year” into an Incognito Google search bar, SPACE student accommodation close your laptop and point to their innovative, slick, accommodation.



A fixture of my time at St Andrews has been the term ‘St Andrew Housing Crisis’, which while may not apply to me personally (he writes from his box room in Andrew Melville), has cast an onus over countless students who literally just want a roof over their heads…in the town they study in. “Dundee isn’t so bad” rhetoric spread through St Fessdrews last year, and while it may be true, who wants to live half an hour away, where their way to class is dependent upon the beloved, highly reliable, never late, Stagecoach 99 service? SPACE casts this aside indefinitely with their student housing, due to open at the former Kilrymont site of Madras College in September 2024.


Comprising both studios and shared apartments, the company has designed this accommodation exclusively with students in mind. Speaking with Ashley Gibbons, Operations Manager for the Scotsman Group who oversee SPACE, she enthusiastically declared that “the concept behind SPACE is to develop student accommodation that does not only provide a contemporary and design led home for students who attend the University of St Andrews, but to also provide an inclusive environment where every aspect of student life is catered for.”


Reader, I understand that worries and fears over accommodation will not dissolve in a few sentences, however, after being taken on a tour of a SPACE studio apartment, I was taken aback by how innovative these spaces were. Gibbons on the tour asserted that the apartments put well-being at the forefront, offering a spacious en-suite in which students can study but also relax. The rooms are undoubtedly modern, thwarting the ageing interiors that make up student halls. A component I particularly found useful was the mass amounts of storage space, most of which is already full of crockery, and even the bed becomes a storage unit.



The rooms are excellent. But of course, we as students need more than four-walls given most of our time is spent heads down, staring at a screen, typing up that EN3112 essay due the next day. SPACE believes that calling a room a home is vitally important, developing a property with shared communal spaces that allow time to socialise, study in a library or study pod, entertain friends within a private kitchen dining room, or even keep active in the gym. SPACE is also looking to introduce events within the calendar such as cooking classes — an unequivocally useful tool for freshers…and third years alike.


She notes, “the guiding principles of SPACE are to put our students front and centre of all decisions at every stage of the development from creating contemporary, sustainable apartments and studios to delivering vast social spaces that add value to the students who stay in SPACE”. Sustainability is a key objective of SPACE who understand that incoming students are looking to seek contemporary accommodation that is practical, whilst environmentally conscious.


SPACE is more than just about students, which is not something to be afraid of. Gibbons discussing fostering better town and gown relations, added: “We also believe that by focusing on the provision of an inclusive events program which will include activities linked to health, wellbeing, and social interaction both within the student community and the wider residential community that we will provide a home that will offer far more than just a place to rest”.


The company is driven by their guiding principles, the first of which is to ‘create an inclusive community by providing an environment where all can flourish, and where every voice is heard.’ Ensuring that ‘every voice’ is heard, is hugely important given the many students who have been let down by the university. Admittedly, SPACE is on the more expensive side, however, this is alleviated by how much the company provides in return. The company has taken every inch of their space into account, and knows how much a clean, refreshing room can benefit a student in the long run.


SPACE ensures safety, security and comfortability in a period where housing is characterised as a luxury rather than a necessity, and for that, we should welcome this project with open arms.



Photos by SPACE



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