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21 September 2018

II. Transformation: NIDO Spitalfields

II. Transformation – NIDO Spitalfields

Typology: Co living

Completion: 2015

Size: 20,000sqft

Client: Nido / Roundhill Capital

This was an exercise in redefining space. More purpose needed to be given to over 20,000sqft of under-utilised transient space spread across 32 storeys of building. We were originally approached to take part in an invited competition to redesign the bedrooms for this high-end student accommodation tower in the heart of Spitalfields, London. Rather than take a direct approach to this brief, we opted instead to treat the whole building more holistically and proposed re-organising and refurbishing the common spaces also.

The proposals sought to move away from the institutionalised, wipe-clean, bright coloured aesthetic traditionally associated with student facilities, towards a sophisticated and inspiring environment more akin to an identifiable sense of home than typical student accommodation. A reinvention of student accommodation as a setting which adds to the student experience, fostering social connections and helping to create a sense of community.

In addition to the refurbishment the works also spilled out to include new extensions and interventions, aiming to create exciting architectural spaces to enliven what was a fairly blank building and create unique selling points to set it apart from the competition. The most substantial intervention was the enclosing of one of the under-utilised atrium spaces at Ground Floor Level. Previously a landlocked courtyard, the space was reinvented with a sculptural ETFE roof to create a focal point and multi-functional event space.