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2 Trafalgar Way, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Service: Planning & Development | Sector: Student Accommodation

Welcome to 2 Trafalgar Way, London – a visionary development that redefines urban living in the heart of Canary Wharf. This transformative project addresses the challenges of a long-vacant site, bringing forward a vibrant community designed to cater to students, families, and professionals alike.

The Challenge

The journey of 2 Trafalgar Way began with overcoming significant challenges. For years, this site remained vacant, haunted by an unrealised PRS-led scheme from 2009. The task at hand included not only reviving this neglected space but also addressing legal requirements, such as the re-provisioning of the once-iconic McDonald’s drive-thru. Furthermore, the site’s unique location posed a challenge, surrounded by busy roads on all sides, demanding a solution to pedestrian permeability issues. In this pivotal gateway location to the north of Canary Wharf, the need for landmark architecture was paramount.


The Solution

Collaborating with Apt Architects, we embarked on a journey of consultation with Tower Hamlets officers and the GLA, leading to the development of 2 Trafalgar Way. This visionary scheme, characterised by distinctive towers, bridges the gap between Canary Wharf and Blackwall/New Providence Wharf clusters. In partnership with UCL, 35% of the student rooms align with the London Plan policies, ensuring the provision of affordable student accommodation.

This development not only redefines living spaces but also incorporates new office and incubator spaces, along with ground-floor retail units, including the iconic McDonald’s drive-thru, activating a newly created public realm. The scheme places a strong emphasis on cycling with integrated infrastructure. Major upgrades to pedestrian permeability across Trafalgar Way, featuring ‘table-topping’ and two pedestrian crossings, enhance accessibility.

Moreover, 2 Trafalgar Way sets ambitious sustainability goals, aspiring to become the world’s most sustainable large-scale student housing scheme with ultra-low carbon operational performance. To achieve this, Urbanest has adopted the Passivhaus approach to building design.

The Results

The scheme will bring forward a world class, highly sustainable development within three landmark buildings of 46, 36 and 28 storeys providing almost 1,700 student bedrooms, 68 residential units proposed for university staff and their families, workspace, retail and significant public realm improvements.

Property Description

2 Trafalgar Way is a cutting-edge living experience with a focus on quality and innovation. This development boasts an impressive 1,672 purpose-built high-quality rooms, offering students a comfortable and inspiring place to call home. Families will appreciate the dedicated “students’ children’s soft play” areas, providing a safe and fun environment for young ones to thrive.

Beyond comfortable living spaces, this property offers a dynamic blend of amenities. Here, you’ll find a cycle workshop and café, catering to the needs of both students and cycling enthusiasts. The flexible work and incubator spaces are designed to nurture creativity and innovation, making it the ideal setting for professionals seeking an inspiring environment.

Connectivity and location

Situated strategically in the northern gateway of Canary Wharf, 2 Trafalgar Way offers unparalleled connectivity. With easy access to transportation links, including the DLR and Jubilee Line, commuting to and from this location is a breeze. Additionally, the property is conveniently located near Tower Hamlets officers and the GLA, ensuring essential services and support are never far away.

One unique feature that sets 2 Trafalgar Way apart is the “sky bridge linking the student” amenities. This innovative architectural element enhances connectivity within the development, creating a sense of community and ease of access for all residents.

Key features and benefits

  • 1,672 purpose-built high-quality rooms
  • Dedicated students’ children’s soft play areas
  • Cycle workshop and café
  • Flexible work and incubator spaces
  • Strategic location near Canary Wharf and essential facilities
  • Innovative “sky bridge” fostering connectivity
  • Sustainability at its core with the largest Passivhaus development

  • 2 Trafalgar Way stands as a testament to visionary planning and development. From overcoming significant challenges to delivering innovative solutions, this development represents the future of urban living. Experience the best of London living at 2 Trafalgar Way – where comfort, connectivity, and sustainability converge to create a truly exceptional living experience.

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