First Way

Location Wembley, London
Client Cole Waterhouse
Content 678 Student Rooms | Teaching Facilities
Status Built

For more information on this project please contact Peter Leiper.

First Way is a new campus for the University College of Football Business (UCFB) to deliver state of the art teaching facilities and student accommodation on a site at First Way next to Wembley Stadium. Planning permission was obtained within the targeted six-month programme for teaching facilities for UCFB and a linked 678 student bedroom accommodation block to be managed and run by Unite.

The teaching block offers seminar spaces of varying size, including a flexible auditorium hall that can be subdivided into three smaller teaching areas if required, as well as an IT area, library, a coffee bar and a separate study area. Office space for teaching staff is located over several floors above the campus entrance hall and a floor of ‘incubator’ office space provided to encourage the future development of start-up businesses and specifically aimed at graduates of the UCFB.

The building is designed with a central spine which links four wings varying in height from 7 to 11 storeys arranged around south-facing courtyard gardens. Internal and external amenity space for residents is located at the roof level above three of the wings.

Externally there are a variety of materials with glazed offices creating a rectangular ‘floating’ box above the main double height entrance to the campus located directly off First Way. Unite’s student accommodation is entered from a new pedestrian route towards the middle of the building. Coloured ceramic rainscreen tiles are arranged in a subtle pattern across the building to express the football colours of the existing UCFB stadium campuses throughout England; creating a visual celebration of both the football heritage and the UCFB. At ground level a robust black brick base unifies the various parts of the development and a full height stair enclosure containing the UCFB logo in super graphics is featured externally on First Way.

The scheme demanded a challenging procurement and delivery period to meet the academic programme and it was decided at an early stage to build the student accommodation using offsite construction methods.