A speedy solution

Nick Myall
Tuesday 09 Aug 2016

A new tower rapidly taking shape in London is expected to be the tallest modular building in Europe

Work has started on the site of the redevelopment of Apex House by HTA Design LLP in the Wembley Regeneration Area within the London Borough of Brent in the UK. The project, which will create 560 student rooms with communal facilities located around a landscaped courtyard, gained planning consent just three months earlier. 

The project will be delivered by Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems using highly advanced off-site techniques and is expected to be completed within 12 months. It is the fourth project in the Wembley Regeneration Area to be delivered by the developer with HTA as architects, planning and sustainability consultants and landscape architects and at 29 storeys will not only be the tallest building in the borough, but is also expected to be the tallest modular building in Europe. 

Commenting on the project Simon Toplis of HTA Design LLP said: 'Apex House will be constructed in twelve months to allow for the student intake of September 2017. This is at least a year quicker than could be managed using traditional methods of construction and is particularly advantageous to student housing providers given the need to match the academic year. The speed and quality of the construction system has already been recognised by the London Borough of Brent through the delivery of three previous projects and is welcomed as a key contributor to accelerating the delivery of the wider Wembley regeneration.'

The building is conceived as three discrete entities, with north and east blocks flanking the corner tower, to follow the building line, height and set backs of the adjacent Shubette House. The facade reinterprets the rich palette of varied terracotta panels from its neighbour with a slightly softer tonal range allowing a sympathetic transition to the tower. At the base of this block sits a cafe which is open to the public and students as well as a student lounge area.

The tower is clad in large format polished white GRC panels lending the building a robust solidity. The base of the tower is grounded by a colonnade to the street which is cut back to the corner to reveal the main entrance to the building for students. This cut back continues up the building as a glazed chamfer which addresses the corner and will reveals views to central London.

Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts:

Education Residential
Architecture
United Kingdom

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