Elmhurst Ballet School

The Elms Accommodation


Convertion of 11 vacant maisonettes into boarding accommodation for sixth form students, both male and female, for Elmhurst School for Dance, close to their existing facilities on Bristol Street.


Locaction: Birmingham UK

Project completion: 2014

Client: Elmhurst Ballet School

The building comprises of 19 double rooms and 9 single rooms, providing accommodation for up to 47 students. Associated to this use, 2 common rooms, one with full cooking facilities, two staff apartments for ‘house parents’, who accompany and supervise the students, and other ancillary uses, such as a site office, laundry and drying facilities and injured student room.


The development benefits from secure grounds to the rear of the property, with areas of soft and hard landscaping, existing mature trees, and the existing car parking area.


The existing maisonettes were converted into ‘bedrooms pods’, or groups of 5 bed-spaces sharing one bathroom, one shower room and a further w.c. Since the proportion of male and female students varies yearly, this configuration allowed the school the flexibility to easily segregate male and female students depending on the particular requirements for the term.



“In Years 12 and 13, your Elmhurst home is off-site, in our state-of-the-art accommodation at The Elms, just a short walk from school.


Here, you get to enjoy and experience a taste of independent living. While you still have on-site house parents for guidance and support, the individual ‘living pods’ provide you with your own bedroom, along with a kitchen and bathroom shared with your classmates.


In your final year, you take another step towards independent living. At this point, your Elmhurst home is a private rental house or apartment. You still have the guidance and support of everyone within the school team and your classmates too, but you’re now making more of your own decisions and have more responsibilities – all of which are helping prepare you for life in professional dance.”

– Elmhurst Ballet School


The proposed development succeeded in bringing back into use a vacant building, thus adding much needed activity to corner of Edgbaston Road and Pershore Rd. The building is a positive addition to the streetscape, adding interest and activity to a prominent corner site, and demonstrates the applicant’s continued commitment to investment within the local economy.