Halls given royal seal of approval
An award-winning halls of residence at the University has been officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
The residences at O’Shea Hall are self-catered, providing a living and social environment for 480 postgraduate students.
The halls on Holyrood Road – which cost £80million – were opened by The Princess Royal, the University Chancellor.
Part of the development is constructed so that kitchen and dining facilities are in a large, open-plan space, to enable 500 students to cook and eat together.
TV and common rooms are available, as well as lounges on each floor, space for revision, four sound-proof music practice rooms, a laundry and a 24-hour reception. Lecture theatres and teaching spaces are also incorporated into the overall development.
The development has already won Best University Halls of Residence at the first Student Accommodation Awards, organised by Property Week, and was named inaugural Student Accommodation Development of the Year at the Annual Scottish Property Awards.
Additionally, the project has been shortlisted for the Edinburgh Architectural Association awards, in the large project category, and for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland award for best building 2017.
O’Shea Hall’s Levels Café and Lounge, which is also open to the public, has won the Interior Design Award at the Scottish Design Awards.
Students in the halls have supported the wider community with fundraising events.
These have benefited charities, including the Edinburgh Sick Kids Friends Foundation, Edinburgh Santa Run and the Anne Forrest Fund for Oesophageal Cancer Research.
A charity pop-up shop has helped the British Heart Foundation, while students have also donated clothing and bedding to the neighbouring Streetwork charity.
The development also incorporates the University’s Outreach Centre, which houses the Institute for Academic Development and the Edinburgh Centre for Professional Legal Studies.
O’Shea Hall is named in recognition of the achievements of Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University since 1 October 2002, who is demitting office in early 2018.
We are delighted to welcome our Chancellor, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, to officially open our state-of-the-art halls of residence. The new accommodation provides a vibrant and inclusive environment for students that will help to enhance their time at University.
All photography: Neil Hanna