projects /

Kelaty House, Wembley




Watkin Jones


Falconer Chester Hall Architects


March 2021

Project Summary & Objective

The development includes a 300-bed aparthotel and 699 beds of student accommodation arranged across five separate buildings. The student buildings also house some retail space and surround a central podium with an extensive external landscaped communal area with basement car parking below. The project sits within the Wembley Park regeneration area adjacent to the national stadium.

Key Challenges

The previous site was used for light industrial use and the ground was found to contain contaminants including asbestos containing materials.

The Aparthotel and Student Accommodation are to be separate entities and therefore should be structurally independent of each other. It must also be possible to demolish one side of the boundary line without undermining the other.

The basement construction requires a deep excavation across most of the site and therefore large retaining structures are required. These retaining structures are to be unpropped in the temporary stage to assist with construction works and must also provide support to the proposed buildings.

Construction of the foundations and low levels of the buildings commenced prior to a planning decision being granted on the application for an additional 100 beds. The design of the foundations and low levels needed to take this into account by accommodating both the additional loadings and potential changes in positions of vertical elements.

The parapets on this project are up to 4m in height and must allow for a safe means of access and egress for future maintenance of the façade and windows.


A concrete-framed flat slab building utilising concrete cores for lateral stability and piled foundations was proposed.

A site remediation strategy was prepared for removal and management of site materials.

Contiguous piled walls were constructed to facilitate the basement construction and to provide vertical support to the building columns. Vertical loads are distributed to piles by way of reinforced concrete capping beams. An innovative steel-framed parapet solution allows for attaching and removing a davit arm system suitable for an abseil. It also supports the façade subject to high lateral wind forces.


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