Best student accommodation in London by HKR Architects
Commercial Road is a student housing-led mixed use development that includes a new build 19-storey zinc clad tower, a refurbished Grade II listed building and new office and retail space. The project provides 346 high quality student rooms with generous amenity space and over 3,500m2 of commercial / educational space.
The 0.4ha site is set within the former St George’s Brewery, which is a Grade II Listed Building from 1847 and some smaller associated buildings along Commercial Road and Assam Street.
HKR was appointed to review the design of a scheme to drive additional value into the previously consented proposals. This was achieved by reducing footprint, increasing the number of units and diversifying the mix and types of units for rent.
The tower building is nineteen storeys high with accommodation arranged in wings around a central core. Reception, student welfare and social spaces are located at ground, first and the double height seventeenth floor sky lounge which has a gym looking east toward the Olympic Park and a library bathed in north light.
Residential accommodation is between levels one and sixteen including independent studios, clustered accommodation and large, economic twins. Rooms range in size from over 17m2 to 28m2 which is more generous than competing accommodation elsewhere in London. The associated lounge/dining rooms are well scaled, with bespoke furniture and fittings and with stunning views over the surrounding city. The building is clad in a blue grey zinc rain screen. The coolness of zinc cladding is contrasted with the use of a warm classic yellow stock brick on the flank walls of the building’s wings. The approach to the listed building was one of minimal intervention and great care – a light touch approach driven by the desire to reveal the best of the existing fabric; to celebrate its unique history and architecture.
Demolition commenced in October 2011 and construction in January 2012. The conversion of the existing Assam Street warehouse into 29 units was completed in May 2012 in time for the London Olympic Games.