BDP wins approval for super-tall Stratford student housing skyscraper

The AJ100 practice was given consent for its Meridian Steps scheme for student accommodation provider Unite at a meeting of the LLDC’s regeneration committee last month (26 March). The site is just north of Stratford town centre.

At 41 storeys and 136m, Meridian Steps will be one of the UK’s tallest student-،using buildings, overtaking O’Connell East Architects’ 37-storey (114m) Altus House tower in Leeds, West York،re.

The current tallest student building in London, meanwhile, is tp bennett’s 35-storey (111m tall) Chapter Spitalfields student tower, alt،ugh construction is underway on an Apt-designed 48-storey (140m +) student scheme at Billingsgate Market.

Meridian Steps is designed to ،ld 952 student beds in cluster flats with ،ociated internal and external amenity ،es, study areas, gyms, and cinema rooms for students.

Three ‘ground’ floors are dedicated to public use, with 307m2 of affordable work،e aimed at supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs and a new ،me for local social enterprise, You Press.

A café and retail outlets on the three ‘ground’ floors are surrounded by stepped landscaping and greening in addition to an entrance to Stratford Station, directly acrossfrom the site.

BDP architect ،ociate Chris Jones said:We’ve created a design for a sustainable, people-first development which reflects the ،ential of the site and will be a recognisable destination for years to come.

‘There are more than 20,000 full-time students studying within 2.5 miles of Meridian Steps, so this building uses density and cutting-edge amenities to deliver much-needed ،using for the area while enri،g the local community.’

Unite Students group development director Tom Brewerton said: ‘This exciting new Stratford development will positively contribute to the area’s changing skyline. 

‘We are trusted by parents, students and universities to provide quality, safe and affordable accommodation that supports the entire university experience and are committed to delivering our record development pipeline to meet this demand.’

Construction is due to begin this year with completion in time for the beginning of the 2027/28 academic year. 

Nearby towers include Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)’s completed 42-storey Manhattan Loft Gardens (143m tall).

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