Torquay House

Client LHA London

Sector Urban Living, Private Rental

Location Greater London

Value £13m

Torquay House is a 143-bedroom hostel designed to accommodate students and young workers at an affordable cost in the Paddington area of London.

The Torquay House scheme was built for LHA London which runs 12 hostel sites around the capital, and received a commendation at the 2016 Civic Trust awards.

Around 80% of the rooms are ‘micro-flats’ featuring kitchenettes and shower rooms, with the remainder sharing communal catering facilities. Additional communal facilities were also created in the shape of a sky lounge, green roof spaces and modern on-site gym.

Built by A40, a major route into London, and adjacent to a petrol station, the tight urban site provided a considerable logistical challenge for the team.

The project made considerable use of modern methods of construction, including extensive pre-fabrication. Windows were installed into pre-cast panels weighing eight tonnes before being craned into place. In addition, bathroom pods were used to create an even more efficient build programme.

The building achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating in part due to the efficient build process, but also as a result of using a gas-fired community heating system, which achieved a 35% reduction in carbon emissions, low energy lighting fitted with intelligent lighting controls and low flow water fittings.