A twelve storey development in Lewisham, with accommodation for over 600 students, created using innovative offsite modular construction continues to receive industry praise and recognition. It can now add a RICS (London) Award nomination to the list of accolades after being named in the ‘Residential’ category.
Made up of 636 individual modules, Sherwood Court welcomed its first tenants in September 2016 in time for the start of the academic year. A mixture of independent studios with their own bathroom and kitchen, 5-bedroom en suite apartments and 3-bedroom apartments, the development has 611 student beds in total.
Weston Williamson and Partners acted as architects on the project. Speaking to Premier Construction, Stephen Cruse, architect at the firm, gave an overview of how Sherwood Court took shape:
“The project had been in our office for about eight years and originally it started off life as a residential scheme. It was around 2010 that the decision was made to pursue a student accommodation scheme.”
Planning for a smaller number of units was originally granted in 2012 but before construction could begin the site was bought by a new client. It was at this point that the modular method of construction was adopted, thus allowing an increase in bed spaces as Stephen explained:
“Because the modular system requires a different type of construction build up we saved enough space to create an additional floor. We also altered the plan to get more accommodation. Overall we managed 50% uplift in student numbers really maximising value for our client.
“We also have two commercial units at ground floor level which was a requirement of the planning application. For the students there are study spaces, a gym, a laundry room, post room and a large bike storage area.”
The project started on site in November 2015 and, crucially, was completed in time for the academic year 2016/2017. The modular construction was carried out by Vision Modular Systems using an innovative integrated steel frame with concrete floors. A Gebrik brick cladding system has been used to wrap the modules.
There are a number of benefits to using the modular system including a guarantee of a high quality finish, a safer method of construction and certainty of programme and cost. Sherwood Court in particular benefited from quicker on site building time afforded by the modular system with Stephen commenting:
“The constraints of the site sandwiched between an operational railway and busy main road were also particularly challenging and I think that’s why modular has worked particularly well here. There wasn’t much space for site storage so being able to do a large amount of the project off site was very helpful.”
Located in the heart of the vibrant and well-connected London borough of Lewisham, Sherwood Court has already proved to be extremely popular with students. The development has excellent transport to universities across London and residents can benefit from amenities including superfast broadband, onsite security, games area and all-inclusive utility bills.
Weston Williamson and Partners is an award winning architectural and urban design practice with a wide variety of projects in the UK and abroad. With over 30 years of design experience and specialist knowledge, the firm has a reputation for delivering projects that are robust, create and represent value for money.
Reflecting on the latest piece of industry recognition for the company, Stephen added:
“It’s very good for us. Obviously as a practice we like to be nominated and win awards but what’s more important is that we deliver end-user and client satisfaction and can maintain those relationships for future projects. We’re currently in the early stages of another scheme with this client.”