Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Village

Zone 2, London
Balfour Beatty
£22m approx
417 bedrooms

Prince Consort Village: a space for students to hone their creative skills

The newly named ‘Prince Consort Village’ at the Royal College of Music is London’s newest music hub, built and designed for students seeking a creative space to hone their skills, providing excellent study and learning environments with sound proofed bedrooms, 24 hour music practice rooms and informal performance spaces.

The previous Royal College of Music halls of residence were demolished to create a new modular student accommodation scheme with Campus Living Villages (CLV). The accommodation has two courtyards, one is a lawn area with one side opening to the garden, and the other is a paved area that can be used for events. Both of these are easily accessed from the central common area at ground floor.

With a variety of additional communal spaces, including a large lounge area over the main entrance that displays a piano (that was gifted to Royal College of Music), a gym, TV Room, Quiet Room, and Demonstration Kitchen, emphasis has been placed on the student social experience.

A central common area leading off the main entrance also contains xbox zones, an iPad info centre, games area, and a performance stage; an adaptable and flexible space that can be used for a number of functions.

A variety of room types are on offer that provide a mix of room rates for students, which includes either studios or cluster flats of various sizes with either an ‘ensuite’ or ‘non-ensuite’ offering. The new facility also includes two onsite manager flats to ensure student safety and service.

Originally designed by TP Bennett, we were approached by Balfour Beatty to be the delivery architect following our strong history with other student accommodation schemes throughout London.

The demolition of the previous 168 room Royal College of Music development entailed a sewer diversion and backfilling an area of existing basement. Much of the demolition material was reused on site to make the compact fill, reducing the amount of waste extracted from the site. Green roofs and photovoltaic cells further enhance the green credentials of the development.

The building is constructed on a concrete slab and basement that then uses steel frame volumetric modular units to reduce the waste produced on site, allowing for a fast-track delivery.

The cladding is either a render system over insulation, Gebrik insulated panels, or Euroclad panel on carrier system. The Gebrik panels required some careful layout and detailing to allow for a recessed course as required by planning, an innovation for the Gebrick panel system.

A shared Revit environment allowed easy co-ordination with the structural engineer, and the software also enabled accurate hard landscaping levels and areas to be established.

Photography supplied courtesy of Campus Living Villages