New hall of residence purchased in W3


W3, a new hall of residence in North Acton for undergraduate students

Plans to develop a new hall of residence in North Acton for undergraduate students, named W3, will get underway in May 2013.

The College Council, Imperial’s governing body, has agreed plans to purchase and develop a new hall of residence in North Acton for undergraduate students. Work on the development, named W3, will begin in May 2013, and is currently scheduled for completion in summer 2015.

The new development, which will provide 724 additional ensuite bed spaces, will assist the College to meet its target of guaranteeing accommodation for every first year student in the future. Other developments include the renovation and expansion of Wilson House in Paddington, due to reopen in September 2013 with 393 bed spaces, up from 273.

The new accommodation in North Acton will consist of 592 single and 132 twin student bedrooms and a tutor’s flat. Plans include a student lounge and coffee shop, restaurant and bar, gymnasium, newsagent and print shop, cinema room and study centre, as well as facilities that could be used by Imperial College Union.

Simon Harding-Roots, Chief Operations Officer at Imperial College, said: “The quality and design of this development will be outstanding. It presents a great opportunity to provide a large portion of the College’s accommodation requirement, delivering excellent value for money and affordable rents for our students.”

Student feedback acquired during the development of the College’s undergraduate accommodation strategy has been used in the selection and planning of W3, including suggestions that that at least 400 bed spaces per hall are needed to constitute a community and that the provision should include self-catering clusters. Students also requested that halls should be a short walk from an underground station or alternative travel hub.

The new accommodation is a 2 minute walk from North Acton tube station on the Central Line in zone 2. The travel time by tube to the South Kensington Campus is around 30 minutes and to Imperial West is around 10 minutes. Five major bus routes are also within walking distance. Additionally, Acton mainline station will form one of the new high speed stations when Cross Rail is delivered in 2018, offering access to Heathrow in 18 minutes and Paddington in 9 minutes.

The addition of these new halls of residence to the College’s undergraduate accommodation portfolio will mean that almost 60% of the current planned bed spaces will fall within the lowest rent band, currently £115 - £150 per week – a price range students identified as optimum in their feedback.

Jane Neary, Director of Campus Services, said: “No stone has been left unturned in the search to identify opportunities for student accommodation. Numerous other developments have been considered, including projects in Fulham, Hammersmith and Ealing. These were rejected however because they were either too expensive, too far from Imperial campuses or they couldn’t achieve the critical mass to create a vibrant student community of at least 400 bed spaces in one location.”

The development will be designed and constructed in partnership with Berkeley First, the specialist student accommodation division of Berkeley Group, which also worked with Imperial on the development of its halls in Battersea, Griffon Studios. Mr Harding-Roots said:

“We are pleased to be working with Berkeley First again. Since 1992, they have delivered over 9,000 new beds to students in London and the South East. Berkeley First’s work is continually evolving to reach the highest standards, which puts our W3 project on track to be one of London’s flagship student residences.”

“This project will create a dynamic student hub,” Mr Harding-Roots added. “As well as ensuring we are meeting the needs of our students, we need to make sure that our accommodation is sustainable for the future. Upgrading current substandard existing stock is vital in ensuring that our students are well catered for down the line and I believe these new halls will truly reflect the world-class standards of Imperial College London as we continue to invest in enhancing our students’ experience.”




John-Paul Jones

John-Paul Jones
Communications and Public Affairs

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Show all stories by this author