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One Elmwood, Queen’s University Belfast

Inclusive by design

One Elmwood is a ‘home away from home’ for anyone studying at Queen’s. It consolidates a range of services into one location, so students can receive the help they need without fear of judgement — whether it’s financial or wellbeing support.

Queen’s University Belfast wanted an inclusive space that can support a range of student needs. We worked in collaboration with Belfast-based RPP Architects to create a flexible student centre at the heart of the university campus, bringing together university services and the Student Union under one roof. It functions as a triage service, helping to break down barriers between different services available to students.

We wanted an accessible, open building which was capable of providing a one stop shop for all our students’ needs. This new building has provided space for all student services, open plan collaboration spaces, quieter study spots, areas for Clubs and Societies to operate and social venues for students to get together.

A glazed exterior presents an open and transparent view of the building. Once inside, a spacious foyer provides a cafe and a wide social staircase that can also serve as an informal hang-out spot. There are plenty of study areas available, with a mix of larger tables for buzzy collaborations, and quieter study nooks.

University life shouldn’t be all work and no play. One Elmwood is home to The Mandela Hall, an adaptable event space that can host anything from concerts to careers fairs, and the second floor features one of Belfast’s longest bars. There’s a ‘Wee Bar’ nestled nearby, serving people who prefer to have a tipple in a more intimate space. There’s also a Student Lounge that opens up to a terrace where visitors can enjoy incredible views out of the city.

Project details

Project name: One Elmwood, Queen’s University Belfast

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Value: £20M – £50M

Scope: Architecture

Clients: Queen’s University Belfast

Status: Complete

Completion date: 2022

Lead consultant: RPP Architects Ltd

Architects: Hawkins\Brown & RPP Architects

Main contractor : Felix O’Hare & Co Ltd

Structural, civil, flood risk: Doran Consulting Ltd

MEP services consultant: JCP Consulting Ltd

BREEAM consultant: Cundall Johnston & Partners Ltd

Cost consultant: Hood McGowan Kirk

Landscape architect: David Clarke Landscapes

Planning consultant : RPS

BIM management: Hawkins\Brown & RPP Architects

Fire : Socotec

Vertical transportation : SVM Associates

If you want to know more about our work in Ireland, contact Colin Mackay

If you want to know more about our education and research work, contact Julia Roberts