Westminster Bridge Road

We delivered state-of-the-art student accommodation on the banks of the river Thames

This 19-storey building houses modern student accommodation across 1,092 bedrooms. The facility is situated near both the South Bank Conservation Area and the Westminster World Heritage site in the heart of London. 

Modern living

The £80 million project accommodates a new 6000m2 sixth-form college providing state of the art education facilities for up to 700 pupils occupying the first 3 floors of the building, as well as an 800m2 health suite with swimming pool and gym. Alongside these services, the building also provides flexible affordable office space for small local and start-up companies. 

A variety of new and innovative room types for the student accommodation and a broad range of price points are coupled with tailor made communal study areas and a one-off common room that has views, from the top floor, of Parliament, The River Thames and the London Eye. 

The accommodation floors include photovoltaic panels and combined heat and power technology to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Innovative modular off-site construction techniques were used to create bathroom pods and a cladding system, for a quicker and safer construction programme. 

Approach to providing innovative student housing

Balfour Beatty were involved at the early stages of the project working with the customer’s team to review the design and buildability. Due to the height restrictions set by the planning regulations, there was limit to the number of units which could be built. However, we worked collaboratively with the customer’s consultants to develop a solution that reduced the space between ceilings and floors, allowing us to add an extra floor and accommodate 44 additional student beds. 






student beds



Through our extensive experience working with Urbanest, we fully understood their requirements and the importance of addressing quality and maintenance throughout the design process to ensure a smooth handover and efficient building operations. To achieve this, we opted for on-site fabrication and manufacturing whenever possible. Also, we regularly visited the European factory to oversee quality control, which helped prevent costly errors. 

Local efficiencies

The project included a variety of employment and training initiatives. We created a range of apprenticeships to ensure tangible benefits for the local community. At construction peak, the project employed 500 people on site. 

The building is located on one of London’s busiest roads, as well as being in close proximity to a busy railway line. We carefully planned site logistics and efficiently timed our procurement processes to overcome site restrictions. 

The mix of student residential, business, education and leisure uses all on one site will provide a welcome boost to the local economy and deliver an important element of the wider regeneration of the Waterloo area.

Johnny Manns
Managing Director, Urbanest