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The Combworks Student Residence

Aberdeen, UK
McLaren Property Ltd for Hines/Aparto


August 2018
Architect / Yeoman McAllister
Interior design / 3DReid
Project Manager & QS / Arcadis
Structural Engineer / Will Rudd Davidson
M&E Engineer / ESP
Fire Consultant / JGA
Main Contractor / Ogilvie
© Aparto / Hines

Scottish Property Awards 2019 Finalist


3DReid interiors team delivered a complex brief to deliver a high quality specification for the competitive student residential market in the city of Aberdeen.

The Combworks Aberdeen is a 121 studio room development which includes a reception space, shared multi-functional common room, study spaces and its own private garden.

The building takes its name from the old Combworks, previously situated on the site, which closed in 1969. The factories were since demolished and various new buildings have been formed on the site over the years. There are very subtle design references to the Combworks throughout the design which were achieved without being too literal.

The client’s desire first and foremost was for the interior space to be homely and welcoming so warm neutral tones were used for the flooring and walls as a backdrop to the colour palette. The common room area features large Chesterfield sofas and a gas flame fire within a bookcase feature wall adding to the character of the space. These are surrounded by different armchair groupings and a comfy L-shaped sofa to provide different zones where students can relax on their own or with their friends. There is also a communal study area and a separate meeting room that the students can use. The reception area is enhanced with a large digital screen, feature bookcase wall-covering and includes a coffee machine and pastry point for the residents.

Bedrooms vary in size from small compact studios to large apartment style spaces which are designed for couples – a first in this market area. All bedrooms have their own private bathrooms and kitchens.


Most bedrooms have ¾ size beds with the larger rooms all featuring double beds as part of the enhanced specification and a brushed bronze wall mounted bedside reading light is included which can be isolated from the bed. The homely feel was implemented within the bedrooms by fitting luxury carpet floor tiles to the area where the bed is situated so that the floor is warm underfoot in colder weather with timber effect luxury vinyl floor tiles used to the practical kitchen areas. Kitchens were designed with oak laminated doors, composite work surfaces and contemporary glass splash backs and all appliances are state-of-the art so the occupant has a fully operational kitchen for entertaining friends.

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