iQ East Court

iQ East Court is located in Mile End on a major circulation road and in close proximity to Regents Canal. The original amenity spaces were double height open plan zones where students felt exposed and surveilled. We created subdivisions within the space, creating a range of distinct zones for quiet solitary study or group study, socialising, entertainment and wellness. On the ground floor we introduced lounge and study dens and replaced the commercial cafe with private dining, informal diner spaces, arcade gaming and pool table. On the first floor we developed new study rooms for individuals or groups, as well as upgrading the cinema and karaoke spaces to make them more convivial.

Our design draws inspiration from the historic street plan of Mile End; tightly knit streets opening into courts, with a material approach which ensures stylistic longevity and future flexibility. It introduces a calming, warm and neutral material palette of industrial materials, including corrugated aluminium, exposed timber framing and a fibreglass mesh screen which buffers and shields students whilst allowing natural light to penetrate into the space. In contrast to these restrained areas, the cinema, karaoke and gaming rooms are located deeper into the plan and characterised by jewel-like tones. The joinery incorporates recyclable materials which are self-finished to facilitate future reuse. Panel sizes were rationalised to minimise cutting and waste.

Photography by Marcus Quigley