The Croft 

Cartwright Pickard worked closely with us to design and deliver a high-quality student accommodation scheme that meets the needs of today's students and delivers on the promises made to Derby Council in terms of massing, scale and appearance. We are delighted with the finished product.

Gavin Barry, CEO, Prosperity Capital​

Client  Prosperity Capital
Location  Derby
Completion  2019
Cost  £19m


  • RIBA stages 1-6
  • Architectural design

The Croft, named in homage to Derby-created heroine Lara Croft, is a mixed-use student living scheme that’s a step up from other options in the city. The project created 326 en-suite study bedrooms across a mix of four-to-nine bedroom student clusters, which each share a kitchen and living area.

In the communal areas, students are able to enjoy a gym, cinema room, pool tables and large lounges, in addition to space for quiet study. There is also outdoor space and cycle parking. The layout of the development creates a safe environment for people to live, study and relax in.

Due to the restricted site and tight programme, we harnessed the use of modern methods of construction to deliver the project on time and budget. The superstructure is light gauge steel with floor and wall panels prefabricated in a factory and then erected floor-by-floor on site. Bathroom pods are modular and formed from glass-reinforced plastic.

The project was completed at £43,000 per student bedroom.

The Croft
The Croft
The Croft
The Croft

Our aim was to make a high-quality intervention within the local context through good detailing and materials that enhance the area. The scheme is predominantly red brick with a contrasting blue brick at ground level, and brick reveals at the end elevations to add interest to the façade. Surrounding streets are invigorated with commercial space provided at ground floor level and an active frontage that wraps around the building. Floor-to-ceiling glazing offer dynamic views to and from the development.

The eight and nine-storey massing responds to the site, closing and completing the block while creating a sheltered central courtyard and a buffer to an adjacent college building. An entrance and route through the site were created by breaking down the mass into two blocks, which also allows access to secure cycle storage and the central courtyard.

Derby has shown a continued need for well-designed student accommodation around the city's growing university, which now has over 20,000 students. The project was built to a very tight programme to meet the needs of the university and plays a key part in Derby’s regeneration plans. Located within the city’s Cathedral Quarter, the site is next to Derby College's Joseph Wright Campus on Cathedral Road, with the city centre in walking distance.