The Glassworks 1

Key Information


The Glassworks - Allen House


Victoria Halls Ltd

Final Value

£15.25 million

Delivery Division


The Glassworks  is a historic 1920’s local landmark in Leicester which had been left empty for the past 8 years. The project was centrally located in the city of Leicester directly opposite De Montfort University’s main campus.

It was decided to refurbish this landmark and convert and extend it into modern, stylish student accommodation.

We undertook the project on a design and build basis. During the design review of the build, we worked closely with the architect and were able to increase the room capacity of the accommodation blocks from 387 rooms to 398.

Work initially involved the demolition of the existing buildings which were located behind Allen House. The site area was incredibly tight, in order to manage deliveries and storage of materials, careful organisation and planning was needed to ensure that the work area was free to work in and that there were sufficient materials on site to carry out the works.

The project consisted of 3 major areas of work. Block A involved the conversion and refurbishment of the existing building to accommodate luxury student studios complete with en-suites and living areas, together with rooms designed for disabled residents. The basement was converted into a gymnasium and communal relaxation area. As this part of the build was locally listed specialist sub-contractors were used to keep elements of the building true to their original form.

Block B was a 5 storey new build extension to the left of the frontage of the existing building and incorporated and Block C, situated to the right of the existing building was a 7 storey building.

Due to the nature of the location of the site, communication was paramount with key stakeholders within the city. The roads adjacent to the building were part of the main ambulance route through the centre of Leicester. In order to cause the last amount of disruption to the City’s services and commuters, deliveries were scheduled between 9.30am and 3.30pm, to avoid rush hour traffic.

Prior to the new build element of the project starting a 70m tower crane was installed. This took a great deal of organisation, communication and planning with Leicester City Council and local businesses as it involved lane closures. Installation of the crane only took place on Sundays and fitted in the city’s events calendar to allow for the City to function as normal. A detailed Traffic Management Plan was issued to all neighbouring businesses and stakeholders to keep them informed.

The project was delivered to a tight programme deadline and was successfully handed over at the end of August, ready for students to move in at the beginning of September.

The Glassworks 2