A first-class fit out for a sustainable Student Union

The University of Derby worked with our design and build team to repurpose and refurbish an outdated space to create ‘Basecamp’ - a contemporary, energetic social hub with sustainability at its heart.


5,661 sq ft

A refreshing upgrade

The future of university facilities

The University of Derby worked closely with their student union to get to the heart of their needs for a new community space. The feedback informed the project plan to revive a former gymnasium and tired student bar with the clear objective of creating a modern, sociable space that would attract students to the university.

The repurposed space has created an area where students, visitors and staff can escape the day-to-day pressures of university life and has brought the campus alive. It draws people together to relax, socialise and work in a green indoor setting.

Biophilic breakout space for students

A variety of seating on the ground floor and mezzanine level within this social university hub

'Basecamp' rises to new heights

The space is now an exciting epicentre in the university branded as ‘Basecamp’. It provides users with all-important relaxation zones, comfortable seating and a contemporary café with a large food and drink service counter.

People have the option to book one of the four private meeting rooms for focused study or collaboration. Users can also choose to sit around modern workbenches, making use of all the modern technology.

Derby Uni basecamp design and build
Bookable meeting room fit out

Basecamp offers options for socialising and relaxed working

Sustainable student solutions

The University of Derby is committed to sustainability and we worked closely with all their stakeholders to achieve minimal environmental impact by reusing furniture and making eco-friendly design and product choices.

Selecting recycled products was key to reducing waste, so we worked with a carpeting manufacturer which uses renewable energy and takes pride in being carbon neutral. Basecamp’s carpeting now contains between 60-70 per cent recycled content.

All wood laminates came from FSC certified sources, the white circular acoustic ceiling rafts were made from 100 per cent recycled materials such as household glass and recycled glass fibre and the existing booth seating was re-upholstered using polyester fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.

recycled materials in lighting and furniture with hanging plants

Acoustic ceiling rafts made from 100 per cent recycled materials

A biophilic buzz

A design concept that ran throughout the project was to ‘bring the outside in’. Through tree wall murals in meeting rooms, trailing plants, a full size tree and a wall completely covered in greenery, our design has delivered a fresh and healthy atmosphere.

biophilic desgin for breakout area
living wall in higher education design and build

A complete wall covered in greenery is a backdrop for healthy student wellbeing

Minimal disruption for maximum wellbeing

Campus life at the university continued during the intense project activity. Stripping out the former student bar and coordinating deliveries for the refurbishment needed constant and effective communication between the estates department and our onsite team.

To maintain the wellbeing of the campus users, we minimised the impact of noise, dust and general disruption and secured an exemplary health and safety record.

Derby Uni Basecamp student area design and build

Basecamp design and fit out provides a fresh, spacious social hub with a contemporary cafe

On campus, on time and on budget

Campus life for University of Derby students, staff and visitors has received a boost with our timely Basecamp delivery.

The project has delivered on the brief and provides an environmentally friendly social hub with an energising atmosphere.

Student breakout area with plants and casual seating

Contemporary design for a social student space

Take a look around

Explore another project