The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has granted approval for Urbanest student residential-led mixed-use scheme designed by Apt, consisting of three towers of 28, 36 and 46 storeys providing 1,672 student beds and 80 residential apartments, 41,000 sqft commercial office space, including workspace for local business start-ups and small enterprises, as well as ancillary residential, indoor soft play-space for children and retail.
The development will transform the vacant and important gateway site at 2 Trafalgar Way, on the edge of Canary Wharf, and deliver a significant economic and social boost for the borough and local community, with hundreds of new jobs created and an estimated £10.5m spent in the borough each year by students, residents and staff. The proposals have been supported by University College London.
“Our vision for 2 Trafalgar Way was to create a vertical campus, where living, studying, and working successfully co-exist, serving to create an enriching environment which will extend into the ground floor public realm and beyond. We’re thrilled that Tower Hamlets have approved the proposal and we look forward to working with Urbanest through the next stages of the project,” said James Ewen, project leader at Apt.
In addition to providing high-quality accommodation, the project aims to achieve exemplar sustainability credentials, targeting BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus certification, which once achieved, will make it the largest Passivhaus development in Europe.
The proposals also focus on sustainable transport, with approximately 1,500 cycle spaces provided across the site, which, together with much-improved public realm and better connections to the local cycle network, will ensure that the site becomes more integrated and accessible to local communities.
“We’re delighted that Tower Hamlet’s Strategic Development Committee has granted approval to our scheme. We have worked extremely hard over the past few years to create something exceptional that not only responds to the resilient demand we are seeing but is also a beautifully designed collection of buildings,” said Anthony Mellalieu, Development Director, on behalf of Urbanest.
“We’re obviously very excited about the scheme’s sustainability credentials. Delivering the largest Passivhaus certified student accommodation building globally is a massive undertaking and a testament to our commitment to creating the sort of places and spaces future generations want to live and work in.
“This is an excellently located site for students, with lots on in the local area and only a short walk or Cycle to Canary Wharf, and a quick tube into central London. We look forward to starting construction and proposed opening in time for the 2025/26 academic year.”
Work on site is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2022.