In Focus: The Rex, Kingston – Amro Partners

In focus: we discover Amro Partners' co-living scheme, The Rex - a pioneering development from an ESG perspective.

Amro Partners' The Rex co-living development in Kingston | BTR News
Amro Partners' The Rex co-living development in Kingston.

Overview

The Rex is Amro Partners’ flagship co-living project located directly opposite Kingston train station in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames. Pioneering from an ESG perspective, The Rex will be the first co-living project in the UK to achieve a full suite of the highest ESG credentials, including being the UK’s first co-living project to secure BREEAM Outstanding. 

Retaining part of the existing structure, the development will significantly improve the street scene on a key pedestrian route between Kingston’s vibrant town centre and train station, helping promote long-term investment into the area.

Following full planning approval last year, Amro entered a joint venture with Japanese real estate firm NTT UD Europe (a subsidiary of NTT Group), making its debut into the UK residential market, to develop the project which is scheduled to be completed in September 2025.

Apartments

The Rex will provide 210 co-living rental homes, comprising 17 to 26.3 sqm apartments available on flexible and secure tenancy agreements. Professionally managed and highly sustainable, the development helps address an urgent need for new homes within Kingston and makes a substantial contribution to the London Plan housing target for the borough.

The design focuses on private living spaces alongside extensive shared facilities, meeting the needs of graduates, young professionals and key workers living without dependents. Filling a significant gap between HMO/ C4 student dwellings and conventional residential private rented homes in Kingston, it aims to encourage graduates from Kingston University to remain in the town and put down deeper roots, boosting the local economy. The need for these professionally managed rental homes is expected to grow further in Kingston with the Unilever HQ opening in 2025, which will be home to c.2,000 employees.

Facilities

Providing flexible, adaptable residential living, The Rex serves its residents and wider community by supporting multiple functions including co-living homes, co-working, gym/wellness, lounge spaces, roof terrace and media centre, which are fully inclusive and accessible. The scheme also retains the existing retail tenants on the ground floor throughout the construction period and when operational.

The health and wellbeing of residents, both mental and physical, sits at the heart of the design, with an emphasis on incidental meeting places and carefully designed communal spaces, both indoor and outdoor, encouraging residents to integrate and socialise, which is recognised by the building achieving Fitwel 3* Design Certification. 

Residential amenities include a generous lobby with 24-hr concierge staff, co-working spaces, communal kitchens and a wellness centre with yoga room. A large terrace and two spacious communal spaces on level seven provide opportunities for multifunctional events, large-scale dining and socialising.

Sustainability credentials

The Rex is a building transformed not once, but twice, from its creation as an office block in the 1960s, to student accommodation between 2010 to 2022, and now beginning its third iteration as a green co-living project.

No less than ten different options were assessed at the initial design stages to reduce embodied carbon, with plans for a full new build scrapped and significantly lower embodied emissions achieved by retaining and extending the existing substructure and part superstructure.

Following a fabric-first approach, The Rex will exceed all new London Plan sustainability requirements, becoming the UK’s first co-living project to achieve BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, Fitwel 3* and WiredScore Platinum. 

Using zero fossil fuels and maximising provision of renewable systems such as ASHP and PVs, The Rex will follow PassivHaus principles to exceed all the sustainability requirements set by the new London Plan, achieving an emissions reduction of 68% above Building Regulations (2021). 

A sophisticated BMS system provides continuous analysis of energy consumption data, making automatic recommendations for improvements, whilst additional sensors track health and wellbeing markers including CO2 and VOC.

Local area and transport

London’s oldest royal borough, Kingston is a buzzing and vibrant riverside university town and a hotspot for graduates, young professionals, and families, providing plenty of green open spaces and excellent transport links in central London.

The Rex is positioned in the heart of Kingston on a key gateway site directly opposite the train station, enhancing one of the key pedestrian routes between the town centre and station. Trains direct to London Waterloo depart every 15 minutes with a journey time of 31 minutes.

The building’s location encourages walking and public transport use over private vehicles, whilst disabled parking spaces are provided on site alongside abundant short and long-stay bicycle parking.