Connection and community: UniLodge Park Central sets student accommodation standard, Brisbane

Offering lifestyle, comfort and convenience within a connected location, UniLodge Park Central is a catalyst high rise development for the inner-city suburb of Buranda in Brisbane.

Formally opening today, the purpose-built student accommodation is designed by global firm Woods Bagot for the Singaporean-based property developer Wee Hur Capital.

UniLodge Park Central pushes the boundaries of the perceived ‘pillow and bed’ notions of student accommodation by offering a welcoming a ‘soft landing’ for students travelling from interstate or overseas – prioritising creating a positive first impression of tertiary life.

With 1,578 rooms, the result is a carefully balanced outcome of yield maximisation and occupant amenity.

As well as keeping up with the current demand for student housing in the city, project architect HangChung Ling explained that the project is a major opportunity to reinvigorate the built and urban quality of the area – creating an offering that is integrated into the community.

Ling said,

“Providing a key pedestrian connection to Buranda rail and bus stations, the design value of UniLodge Park Central to the city and to Wee Hur Capital is demonstrated by a quality placemaking approach hand in hand with commercial viability.”

Wee Ping Goh, CEO of Wee Hur Capital, said that since the development’s partial opening in July last year, a great mix of local and international students has grown into an inclusive and vibrant community. The facility is operating close to full occupancy at the time of opening.

Tasked with redefining the perception of student accommodation, Woods Bagot used its cross-sector knowledge to develop an understanding of what type of spaces students need to create meaningful connections and support their lifestyles.

Focused on creating a home away from home for students based on the notion of groups, neighbourhoods and communities, designers committed to the vision of creating a campus environment conducive to inclusive experiences that facilitate strong social bonds between students.

Ling said,

“To create a welcoming environment for students from over 50 countries we researched how they rest, play, work and interact with one another at a time when they are just beginning their adult lives.”

“The accommodation has private zones for reflection and retreat, and public zones to encourage interaction and provide flexibility for a variety of activities. Generous communal areas, retail offerings, sky garden common rooms and sustainable transport modes including a bicycle centre and car share facilities ensure that students are engaged and connected.”

Designed to maximise street level activation, the ground plane boasts extensive retail frontage and strategic placement of building foyers. A cross-block link provides a high-quality pedestrian realm connecting the existing Buranda Bus Plaza with Gillingham Street.

UniLodge Park Central is the first of a three-stage development for Wee Hur Capital, and will connect with future stages of the development.