While we may be the newest student accommodation in Cardiff, our building has a long and fascinating history
This September, we will welcome hundreds of students at Cardiff University into our brand-new Vita Student accommodation.
Located at 11 Park Place, Vita Student Cardiff sits directly opposite the historical New Theatre and is just a two-minute walk from the city’s high-street shops. Behind our residence, you’ll find Cathay’s Park, a beautiful conservation area where you can explore the National Museum and of course, Cardiff University.
While most people know about Vita Student Cardiff’s perfect location, something that many of our new residents are yet to discover is the fascinating story behind this building.
First built in the Victorian era, around 1880, the Gothic-style houses on Park Place in Cardiff were home to some of the wealthiest and most prestigious families in the city.
Number 11 was previously owned by the Welsh physicist Charles Tanfield Vachell and his daughter Eleanor, who was named the first woman to become a Governor of the National Museum of Wales for her extensive work as a botanist.
However, when Vachell died in 1914, the home was left derelict for years until it was converted into offices in the 1980s, and the interior was unfortunately stripped of most of its traditional features.
Want to hear more about our historic buildings? Read our article on Vita Student York here.
Forty years on, Vita Student Cardiff has restored much of the building’s exterior, from its beautiful Victorian stonework to its sash bay windows. Look up at the building and you’ll see its iconic dragon Gargoyle, still perching on the stonework almost 150 years after it was sculpted.
The second part of the residence, the 18-storey new build, is extended behind the listed Villa. It has been designed to complement the existing colour pallet of the street, with neutral and dark stonework, along with a landscaped green space outside of the building that allows the Victorian architecture to continue to stand out.
Vita Student Cardiff strikes the perfect balance between old and new. The majority of the 401 rooms are in your classic Vita Student style, however 27 special rooms have been converted in the listed building – designed for students who long to immerse themselves in British history. Our Villa rooms are full of character, with bespoke sash bay windows, offering a ton of natural light, high ceilings, and beautiful feature walls.
The residence’s social hub space spreads across the Villa building into the extension, with an eclectic interior design that combines a comforting British style with an edgy and modern twist. You’ll have the opportunity to feast in the private dining room, enjoy the free coffee in our vast lounge spaces and of course, work hard in the gym.
Vita Student Cardiff has been one of our longest projects to complete, taking over four years. Due to the historical importance of the building, it was important to take the time to restore the old features and retain its natural charm. But the wait will soon be over…
After being neglected for so many years, 11 Park Place has finally returned to its former glory. A building that was once left to decay is now seen as a jewel of the street, and its doors will finally open in September 2022.