Sunday, September 20, 2015

Halls of Academe

The progress on the new Halls of residence for our two universities goes on apace.

The earlier student accommodation buildings around Shieldfield were of steel girder frame construction with brick and cladding; these two latest developments in Clarence Street and off Stepney Bank (see slideshow) are both 'modular' build where factory built 'units' arrived on site and were craned into place, stacked up like containers aboard ship. Locked together (I assume ...) these were then covered by a facade. Ripe lavender for Clarence Street, a more burly post-modern industrial stone and rust on the Stepney Bank Glassworks site, where much brick has also been deployed. Neither of these 'Halls' appears to be 'owned' by either University as exclusively for their students so far as I can judge.

The recent problems with the Chinese economy does not seem to have dented the market; but I have a slight feeling it will.

Whatever happens, this corner of Newcastle will not be left unaffected. Nearby long term residences (see Shieldfield 'piloti' flats and lovely 60s era terrace home) have had to make adjustments to this sudden influx. The rise and rise of student numbers now will have a substantial impact on the local Shieldfield district. Hopefully, a highly beneficial one.

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