Savoy Circus
Wembley, Brent
306 Student homes
Planning authority
London Borough of Brent
Shortlist, Offsite Awards: Housing Project of the Year - Savoy Circus 2019
Shortlist, NLA Awards: Housing – Savoy Circus 2019

The construction of the Savoy Circus scheme successfully repaired the urban grain in this area by occupying a plot which has been vacant for 20 years. The design sits sympathetically within the conservation context and provides local residents with the opportunity to remember the previous building on the site.

The development consists in 306 student housing units. Student social space, a cafe, administration and student accommodation are found at entry level and provide an active frontage. The basement provides further student social space, gym, laundry and bike storage and opens towards a landscaped courtyard.

The building is focused towards Savoy Circus with a seven storey tower. This is then flanked by two wings of 5 storeys with rooms within an angled roof. Architectural details include corbelled brick corners, reconstituted stone window surrounds and glazed brickwork. The material palette has been influenced by the immediate context and draws on the prominence of red and London Stock brick in the area.

The Savoy Circus courtyard concept is based on using linear bands of both hard and soft landscape treatments to create a visually engaging landscape which has year-round seasonal planting interest and creates an attractive backdrop for residents.

The design intent is influenced by a series of programmatic and contextual factors. Adjacent to a high traffic road, the internal courtyard seeks to provide respite through the use of soft seasonal planting and audial and visual amenity provided by the proposed water features. In order to maintain privacy and screening from neighbouring properties to the East, the courtyard design responds with a high ratio of soft planting material to hard landscape, including light canopy trees.

Visual interest from the proposed units above is created through the use of patterning of hard and soft materials at the ground plane, including a combination of shale and pavers, and seasonal variation through planting. Linear planted rain gardens provide both points of interest and help to manage surface water run-off. The building edge is softened through the provision of raised planting beds that will be planted with mixed perennial shrubs and groundcovers to create a colourful, seasonal edge to the streetscape

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