The tower was designed for Alumno Developments and provides affordable accommodation for students at Queen Mary University of London, along with artists’ studios run by Space Studios.
It’s located on Stratford High Street, in an area characterised by very tall buildings on the High Street with much smaller domestic scaled buildings in the hinterland.
The student experience
The ‘student experience’ was a key concern, to create a building with an abundance of amenities and social facilities, designed to promote social interaction.
Student rooms are arranged in flats, sharing kitchen/ dining rooms. There is a range of room types to provide a choice of living arrangements and budget. Common rooms and social study space are distributed throughout the tower, next to lift lobbies, laundry rooms and the entrance, to make them visible and convenient.
The tower has a triangular plan, creating a distinctive landmark and giving a slim profile due its acute angled corners. The shape gives the tower similar proportions when viewed from any direction.
The triangular plan also reduces overlooking into hotel rooms on each side and over-shadowing. Internally, it works neatly to provide three cluster flats per floor, with kitchen/ living rooms on each corner.
The base of the tower expands to fill the site area, providing space for a cafe and artists’ studios and to mediate between the height of the tower and the lower buildings in the hinterland.
The entrance loggia and the base of the tower protect the micro-climate, by creating an obstacle to ‘down-wash’; stopping wind which is deflected down the face of the tower before it reaches the ground.
The building design allows long-term future flexibility. The layout could potentially be converted to create residential apartments, though not envisaged.
- Alumno Developments
- Civic Trust Award, 2020
- Download PDF 1.86 MB
Photos: Jake Balston - www.jakebalston.com (construction photographs)