Service Tower for Student Housing   London, UK

The Service Tower was the first of Sir Nicholas Grimshaw's projects, marking the beginning of his long and storied career, and an indicator of things to come.


Responding to a commission from the Anglican International Student’s Club to convert six nineteenth-century terraced houses into student accommodation, the Service Tower, with an innovative ‘kit of parts’ approach, efficiently answered the brief.

Bereft of the most basic services, the derelict terraces were entirely given over to bedrooms; the independent tower to the rear accommodated all bathroom and laundry facilities. Providing an average of four units per floor, the tower includes enough bathrooms, lavatories and laundry rooms for all residents.

The core of the tower is formed of a central steel frame, which was quickly erected and then utilized as a crane from which the utility pods and ramp sections were hoisted into place.

In the same spirit as the novel design approach, a dinghy maker manufactured the pods while the helicoid ramp sections were resolved by feeding steel strips through the factory rollers at an angle.

The continuous, sloping helical ramp allowed the user to travel up or down searching for an available facility.

London, UK

The Anglican International Student’s Club



Tessa Traeger