HUB and Bridges submit plans for London co-living scheme

HUB and Bridges submit plans to transform an office building on the edge of the Barbican Estate into co-living homes in the capital.

Concept image of the proposed co-living scheme at 45 Beech Street in London | HUB Group | Bridges Fund Management | BTR News
Concept image of the proposed co-living scheme at 45 Beech Street in London.

Developer HUB and sustainable impact investor Bridges Fund Management have submitted plans for a co-living-led development at 45 Beech Street in London, following the acquisition of the property last year.

Designed by Stirling Prize-winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), the proposals would transform a 1950s office building into a community-focused residential scheme that responds sensitively and creatively to the context of the iconic Barbican Estate.

The scheme will deliver 174 co-living homes, a new public realm, ground-floor commercial space and on-site residential amenities.

“This ambitious co-living development would not only help to tackle the dearth of high-quality rental accommodation in London; it would also bring an under-occupied building back into economic use and make it more environmentally efficient, supporting the decarbonisation of the built environment. Co-living is becoming increasingly popular across Europe, providing much-needed sustainable housing in urban locations. We’re excited about the potential of our proposals at Beech Street to help address the clear shortage of homes in the city.”

Celia Harrison, Director, Bridges Fund Management

The proposed scheme would take a retrofit-first approach, which is in line with HUB and Bridges’ shared focus on minimising carbon emissions. The total embodied carbon saving of retrofitting the existing building is 34%, relative to a comparable new build scheme of the same scale. The scheme would also target BREEAM Excellent, EPC A, Fitwel 3* and Net Zero operational carbon sustainability credentials.

“Building on the success of our previous London projects with HUB, we are joining forces again to transform an under loved office building in the heart of the city. The architectural approach has been carefully considered, responding sensitively to the much-loved Barbican context, completing the northern frontage of the estate. The existing structure of 45 Beech Street will be re-used and extended, creating a new residential community with shared amenities, and breathing new life into the local streetscape.”

Hazel Joseph, Director, AHMM

The 45 Beech Street scheme was developed in collaboration with the local community and neighbourhood stakeholders. The consultation process involved a series of stakeholder workshops, consultation events and outreach to Barbican residents, alongside the local business community.

The development follows HUB and Bridges’ first co-living project in Hammersmith and Fulham, in partnership with Women’s Pioneer Housing, which has now commenced on site. HUB and Bridges announced a funding deal with CDL for the scheme earlier this month.

“The opportunity to develop a scheme adjacent to the most iconic residential development in London is hugely exciting. The Barbican pioneered city centre living, and our proposed scheme seeks to continue this legacy, providing a new kind of residential offering for the area. Our proposals would reinvigorate an existing building at risk of becoming a stranded asset, demonstrating the potential for new models like co-living to not only bring new homes to city centres, but also to minimise carbon emissions by giving new life to tired office buildings.”

Tom Stoneham, Senior Development Manager, HUB