Empiric Student Property - Provincial House

Design & Build

This Design and Build project saw 107 student accommodation rooms created at Provincial House in Solly Street in Sheffield’s St Vincent’s Quarter.
The Grade II listed property, a former presbytery built in 1874 which was turned into offices in the 1980s, was redeveloped with 24 boutique and one-bedroom apartments over four floors. Three new blocks were also built on adjoining land to create a further 83 rooms.


The new-build blocks were all constructed using full lightweight frame with a red brick exterior to ensure they are in keeping with the urban grain of the street patterns.

Site Challenges

Working across a Grade II listed building, the project’s complex design development and planning process involving close collaboration with Sheffield City Council and Historic England. Detailed archaeological, ecological and geotechnical investigations were undertaken with respect to the varying site levels and listed building constraints.
The development is in the Well Meadow Conservation Area and close to the University of Sheffield's North Campus. Working in a highly constrained site surrounded by residential dwellings, our approach was centred around minimising disruption and maximising safety, with close communication with residents maintained throughout the scheme.


With the scheme entailing the refurbishment of an existing building, a CAT Scan of existing services was undertaken to confirm exact locations. Once this was established, we coordinated the installation of new services, including data, power, fire-stopping, electric heating, cooling, lighting, ducted extract ventilation, and a boosted cold water system. All buildings were connected to a substation situated underneath block A.

Environmental and Social Value

Working within a conservation area, a higher grade of paving was installed around the new blocks. To help maximise space within this extremely confined site, Clegg engaged with the Geographical Association who allowed us to hire their building’s basement for site accommodation in exchange for a donation.

Delivery of student-centric accommodation

The development includes facilities including a gym, cinema, laundry and common room areas, and was handed over in time for students from the city's two universities to move in for the start of the new 2017/18 academic year.