Delivering sustainable urban living in the heart of London


Across Europe, demand for housing is rising, thanks to population growth and the increase in single-person households. But supply is failing to keep pace: in the UK, the average number of new homes built annually over the last decade has been barely half the amount required, while the steady rise in house prices has pushed more people into the already overstretched rental market.

We need to build more high-quality housing, particularly now more people see their home as a place to work as well as sleep and socialise. But at the same time, we need to be conscious of how the built environment contributes to our overall carbon footprint.

Co-living, an emerging residential concept that combines private living space with communal amenities, helps us tackle both these challenges. It is a low-carbon, higher-density model that allows us to repurpose under-used urban buildings, in a way that combats social isolation and broadens access to quality housing.


Bridges and our partner HUB have submitted plans for a co-living-led development at 45 Beech Street in the City of London, next to the Barbican. The scheme would deliver 174 co-living homes as well as new public realm, ground-floor commercial space and on-site resident amenities.

Designed by Stirling Prize-winning practice AHMM, the proposal would transform a 1950s office building into a community-focused residential scheme that responds sensitively and imaginatively to the context of the iconic Barbican Estate.


In line with HUB and Bridges’ shared focus on minimising carbon emissions, the proposed scheme would take a retrofit-first approach, reusing the existing structure to achieve an embodied carbon saving. The scheme would also target market-leading sustainability credentials: BREEAM Excellent, EPC A, Fitwell 3* and Net Zero operational carbon.

The scheme has been developed in close collaboration with the local community and key neighbourhood stakeholders. The consultation process involved a series of stakeholder workshops, consultation events and outreach to Barbican residents as well as the local business community. The goal is to deliver benefits both to residents and to people who live and work nearby, thanks to public realm improvements and a range of shared amenities that connect the scheme to its community.