Nido Spitalfields: A Tour Of London's New Student Residence Skyscraper

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 105 months ago
Nido Spitalfields: A Tour Of London's New Student Residence Skyscraper
Nido Spitalfields viewed from Bishopsgate
Nido Spitalfields viewed from Bishopsgate
Be honest, did your student digs have a chair like this? Didn't think so.
Be honest, did your student digs have a chair like this? Didn't think so.
View of the City from the 'Sky Lounge' on the 32nd / 33rd floor; it will be reserved for private parties and events, and will have a separate elevator, so that the cream of civilised society don't have to mix with the students
View of the City from the 'Sky Lounge' on the 32nd / 33rd floor; it will be reserved for private parties and events, and will have a separate elevator, so that the cream of civilised society don't have to mix with the students
The pock-marked rectangles are screens for full-length windows
The pock-marked rectangles are screens for full-length windows
Corridor under construction
Corridor under construction
View from the courtyard
View from the courtyard
A cranes-eye view of east London. The Olympic stadium is just about visible to the left of the crane
A cranes-eye view of east London. The Olympic stadium is just about visible to the left of the crane
View through the perforated window screen towards Guardian HQ at Kings Place
View through the perforated window screen towards Guardian HQ at Kings Place
The two buildings at Nido King's Cross
The two buildings at Nido King's Cross
Dining area at Nido King's Cross
Dining area at Nido King's Cross
The ground floor lobby at Nido King's Cross
The ground floor lobby at Nido King's Cross
Somewhat cosy kitchen in a twin studio
Somewhat cosy kitchen in a twin studio
The communal living space in a "4-bed cluster"
The communal living space in a "4-bed cluster"
The new Shoreditch High Street station, and the east London line extension stretching out to Dalston
The new Shoreditch High Street station, and the east London line extension stretching out to Dalston
Single bedroom in a "4-bed cluster"
Single bedroom in a "4-bed cluster"
Nido on the City skyline, taken in September. It's the building to the right of the picture By tripowski
Nido on the City skyline, taken in September. It's the building to the right of the picture By tripowski
Christ Church Spitalfields and the surrounding area
Christ Church Spitalfields and the surrounding area
Looking down the stairs from the 33rd floor
Looking down the stairs from the 33rd floor
A pre-fab bathroom unit ready to be unpacked and installed
A pre-fab bathroom unit ready to be unpacked and installed
A worker gazes over London from 33 stories up
A worker gazes over London from 33 stories up

Back in December, we were slightly surprised to find out that some of London's newest student accommodation costs up to £300 per week. Following our comments, we were contacted by the American developer, Blackstone. They invited us to tour their new student skyscraper, Nido Spitalfields, to see for ourselves what £1,250 a month gets you.

The tallest building in the Square Mile to open this year, Nido ("nest" in Spanish or Italian) is the second student block built by the company in the UK — Nido King's Cross opened in 2007, and another is planned in Notting Hill. The 105m-tall building will accommodate 1,204 residents in a number of configurations, ranging from single or double studio units up to six-bedroom "clusters". We're not talking the insipid showers and unsprung mattresses you probably recall from student digs days — as might be expected, the rooms are filled with modern, designer furniture that doesn't look like it will withstand the type of use that the 18-21 crowd will subject it to (or maybe that's just the crowd we hung around with when we were 18-21). The rooms and shared spaces are a little on the small side, but not unduly so — only the kitchen space in the twin studio felt genuinely cramped.From the top floor, there's a wonderful panorama of London. Looking west is an unrivalled view of the City and the West End beyond, while Spitalfields and the whole of east London is laid out on the other. The neighbouring skyscrapers feel so close that with a pair of opera specs students will be able to spy on board meetings at the Heron tower and the Pinnacle when they're built. It's a residential view matched only by that from the three Barbican towers. The student housing stretches up to the 31st floor: the two floors above that won't generally be for student use, as the developer is creating a 'Sky Lounge' for private functions and parties, which will be served by its own dedicated elevator from the ground floor.Having taken the tour, does £300 a week still seem extortionate? What the developers are offering is a solution for wealthy parents concerned about the safety of their offspring studying in London. Nido has full-time security, and employs "resident life coordinators" and fellow students who can troubleshoot any problems or issues the residents have. From wireless internet to laundry to dining, to regular community events, it provides everything they need; nobody really need leave their little perch atop the City (apart from to sleep through another seminar on campus, of course). It's a privilege largely afforded to international students: 90% of the occupants of Nido King's Cross are from outside Britain. In a city where only 20% of students are offered housing, it's a big concern: not necessarily one for the developer, but it's something to think about in the wider question over student debt.If you're the scion of a wealth foreign family, Nido Spitalfields will probably be a great place to live. If you're of more modest means, it might be a source of envy.Thanks to Gina McMorran at Blackstone, and the staff at Nido Spitalfields and Nido King's Cross, for arranging the visit
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Last Updated 11 January 2010