Tillermans is a new landmark on the north bank of the Grand Union Canal. It’s simple, strong character sets the aspiration for the wider Greenford Quay masterplan


The first block to be delivered within the new Greenford Quay masterplan is designed as a bespoke Build-To-Rent development which will lead the way in delivering a vibrant community atmosphere in Ealing, West London. The building contains a mix of 379 apartments along with generous resident amenities


How did you create a landmark building on the Grand Union Canal?

The main entrance to Tillermans is a generous, glazed, double-height lobby at the foot of a 14-storey tower. This anchors the scheme to the Grand Union Canal, ensuring the building forms a landmark in the public realm with the gravitas needed to respond to an important corner site.

To create an enduring look, the building has been designed with a simple external façade, using a restrained material palette of buff brickwork and black metal cladding. This is reflective of the logical and regular arrangement of the internal layout with its efficient, repeating apartments. Deep contrasts between light brick and dark metal break down the façade. The courses of brickwork have been designed to create changing patterns and textures, making a distinction between three portions of the building and creating visual interest across a 110-meter façade.


Modular Design

Originally, the intention was to construct Tillermans from a reinforced in situ concrete frame. We had reached detailed design when a review was undertaken at the end of Stage 3. Greystar’s student living business Chapter had completed multiple modular buildings and had gained an understanding of the benefits of the system. We were able to demonstrate that the building would only require minor revisions so it could use this efficient and sustainable approach to construction.

How were mixed-use spaces designed so they could best serve residents and the local community?

We put time into designing the ground floor to best serve residents and the emerging public realm. Mixed use public spaces have been wrapped around the outer façade so everyone can benefit from the new restaurants, cafes and co-working spaces. At the north end of the building a nursery has been provided to serve people living in the new build to rent homes and the wider community alike.

built to rent
build to rent

A crown is formed at the top of the tower with an increased floor to ceiling height and large glass openings that allow light to spill out into the public realm in the evenings. This special space is home to a new roof garden and residents’ amenities including a lounge, games room, communal kitchen, dining room, playground, and gym. Care and attention were put into the detailing of this space, extending the high-quality brick textures found on the lower floors.

Landscape Design

How were different landscaped spaces incorporated across the building?

Three main landscaped spaces have been integrated into Tillermans. On the 14th floor an outdoor rooftop lounge has been furnished to allow people to take in views of Horsenden Hill.

In complement to the rooftop garden, two podium gardens serve different functions. One provides space for the residents to grow their own food. This is supported with a potting bench and shed supplying communal garden tools. Alongside the culinary gardens we have provided a fitted outdoor kitchen surrounded by a vibrant jewel garden allowing residents to host dinner parties or spend time around a shared fire pit.

The second podium garden provides an open courtyard. Here a ring of trees has been designed to wrap around the space benefitting from a shared tree pit to allow a selection of native species to grown successfully on the roof top. The trees screen private gardens from the public space. Other ornamental species have also been selected for year-round interest and to encourage wildlife to these newly created outdoor spaces.

Sustainability & Building Physics

How did modular construction improve outcomes for embodied carbon?

Modular construction enabled 26,000 tonnes of C02 to be saved across the building. This is comparable to 7030 vehicles being take off the road, 160,287 trees being planted or preventing 14600 round trips to New York. We partnered with Heriott Watt University and the Energy Technology Partnership to undertake a complete cradle to grave life-cycle assessment of the proposed buildings comparing modular and traditional construction approaches.

Interior Design

Why was an industrial materials palette selected for the interior of the building?

The name Tillermans refers to the historical tiller men who steered their canal boats along the Grand Union Canal. The interiors have been designed to reference this, with industrial black metal offset by warm wood. Our approach was to use industrial materials to reflect the heritage of the site but in a more contemporary way. We researched and replicated the tiling pattern from the floor of the original Sunblest bakery previously located on site, and added a contemporary twist with a modern colour palette.