Friendship House

MJP Architects, London, 2003


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

View from the road 

Tim Crocker (website)     Download Original

  • View from the road    
  • Entrance    
  • Communal rooms in the courtyard    
  • Courtyard at dusk    
  • View down into central well    
  • Zinc cladding    
  • Reception desk    
  • Common areas and circulation    
  • Common room    
  • Staircase    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second Floor Plan    
  • Fourth floor plan    
  • Fifth floor plan    
  • Long section    
  • Short section    
  • Sketches    

Affordable accommodation for 180 single people in bedsits with ensuite shower rooms and shared kitchen/dining rooms, common rooms and laundry

To make the most of the space offered by the restricted site, the 179 bed-sit rooms are arranged in a spiral fitting tightly to the site’s boundaries. Windows were placed adjacent to party walls to enhance reflected light and, combined with the design of the fitted furniture, to provided well articulated rooms.

The rooms are arranged around a central courtyard containing a pool and fountain which reflect light and produce a gentle white noise that camouflages the noise of the nearby railway and streets. Cutting across this space is a green slate walkway which connects the main ground floor common rooms back to the reception area. Kitchens, serving as subsidiary common rooms, are located in the corners of the courtyard.

External finishes are white render with mosaic inserts, zinc shingles on the elevation facing the neighbouring railway line railway, and glass planks around the tops of the stair towers.

The flats were built for the London Hostels Association, a charity whose objective is to provide accommodation at reasonable cost to working people and students in London.


  • Begun: Aug 2001
  • Completed: Oct 2003
  • Floor area: 4,810m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £7.5M
  • Procurement: JCT 98
  • Address: 3 Belvedere Place, off Borough Road, London, SE1 0AD, United Kingdom

Professional Team