Sitting on 17.4 hectares in West London, this master plan is a significant catalyst for regeneration and one of the most strategically-important sites for the future of the capital. This vast swathe of industrial land will be transformed into a thriving new district, creating much-needed new homes and jobs, a new school, high quality parks and open spaces benefiting from incredible new transport connections along with access to the historic Grand Union Canal.
The shortage of housing is an acute and pervasive problem in the contemporary city and young people are perhaps the most affected. Faced with housing that is either exorbitantly expensive or hopelessly inadequate, they are increasingly pushed out of urban centres, isolated and marginalised.
As part of Imperial College London’s master plan for Imperial West at Wood Lane in West London, we are designing two buildings: a technology transfer building and a 35-storey residential tower. The new residential building will combine private and key worker accommodation including apartments for lecturers, researchers and trainee doctors and their families to help attract and retain the college’s key staff.
PLP Architecture have partnered up with the Collective to conceive a new model of housing called ‘co-living’ which is tailored to suit the changing lifestyles of young people living and working in London. A significant proportion of Londoners can no longer afford to rent or buy in the current housing market. Often, they are forced to rent substandard accommodation from part-time landlords who are not concerned with the quality of housing provided. This limits housing choice, pushing London’s workforce into substandard accommodation in areas they would not choose to live (i.e. away from their place of work). The Collective offers a new alternative to those who are being edged out of London’s housing market, a place to live which is designed with their needs in mind, offering communal facilities and a mixture of uses along with new typologies of apartments which are financially accessible.
The Ruth Deech Building combines residential, academic and support functions, with 110 student en-suite rooms, an 80-seat lecture theatre, three 25 seat seminar rooms, and catering facilities. During term breaks and summer months, the building also serves as a conference centre and summer school.
The townscape benefits of our scheme convinced English Heritage and the City of Westminster to support the scheme. The project is one of the most important restorations of an historic London Square since World War II.
Through careful internal design, our scheme provided more rooms of a higher standard than the larger building which it replaced. Approximately 900 students are housed, all in en-suite facilities. Other amenities are provided at ground floor level: a medical centre, a dental centre, local grocery and a bar/restaurant.