New Stratford student halls will ‘change colour with sunset’

The development will house 445 Queen Mary University students

The development will house 445 Queen Mary University students - Credit: James Crowne

A student housing company claims its new development could alleviate some pressure on the borough’s housing market.

The development near Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will house 445 of Queen Mary University of London’s 20,000 students, and, it is hoped, alleviate pressure on the housing market in the area.

Developers Alumno say that student numbers in Newham have increased “far more rapidly” than the London average and the current lack of purpose-built accommodation means they are renting homes intended for families.

The development, on the site of a disused Esso petrol station on Stratford High Street, will be known as Three Mills West and a bespoke brick is bring used which will allegedly change colour between blue and silvery grey as the sun is setting.

The building will be 26 stories high when complete and will include a cafe and a gallery, as well as “affordable artists’ studios to serve the vibrant arts scene in east London.”

SPACE Studios, a Hackney charity which helps artists find places to work, helped to design the studios and will find them tenants as part of a long-term agreement with the developers.

Although the builders have only just “broken ground”, Three Mills West is rising rapidly and is due to be completed by autumn 2018.

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David Campbell, Managing Director of Alumno Developments said: “We are very proud that this significant development is progressing so well and we are playing our part in the redevelopment of Stratford and the regeneration of the former Olympic area.”

The company has recently converted the former Southwark Town Hall into 155 student rooms, and built the Alumno building in Camberwell for Goldsmiths, University of London.

Stratford’s most famous student housing block, Unite Stratford City, which was not built by Alumno, was nominated for the Carbuncle Cup, an award for Britain’s ugliest new building, in 2014.