Project DescriptionPLP 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 project is designed to introduce a critical mass of different uses on the site comprising the Collective’s Co-living units, a serviced-apartment hotel, employment spaces, cultural uses along with amenities and outdoor spaces. The ambition is to create an ecosystem of working, playing, creating and living, housed within a new tower typology. Both architect and client see the project as forming a key part of a social mission to solve a global problem: that increasingly, young people are priced out of thriving global cities because of a lack of affordable housing.
The Collective Stratford is designed to create a sense of community within the building, while providing a high level of services including a concierge, weekly linen change, room cleaning, free wi-fi, and a simple all-inclusive bill for utilities, broadband and council tax. Residents will benefit from a wealth of amenity spaces provided throughout the building including a cinema room, games room, library, secret garden, spa, disco laundrette, and gym. The residential component of the building is accompanied by a co-working space, also managed by the Collective, an incubator for young startups which will also offer access to the many amenities in the building. A gallery and a pop-up event space will also add to the creative possibilities within the building’s ecosystem.
The architectural composition and expression of the building reflects the unique nature of the typology it contains. The identity of the scheme is not conferred through a flamboyant shape or through an overwrought facade, but rather by its collective event spaces, which form the lifeblood of the building. The scheme, therefore, has a simple, calm and dignified facade and a simple, slender silhouette. Against this calm composition, an elevated event space pavilion stands out as an extraordinary counterpoint; an expressive beacon in the sky.