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George Eliot halls of residence, University of London

New model for student accommodation at Royal Holloway, University of London

Underlining student accommodation credentials, Willmott Dixon created a ‘new model for student accommodation’ at Royal Holloway, University of London, by building rooms for 621 students on its North Campus.

The new halls of residence, called George Eliot, are unique in that rather than being high-rise or small groups of clustered buildings, the homes are spread out across 56 individual three and four storey townhouses that provide a ‘home from home’ for eight or 12 students.

These modern townhouses offer more space for relaxing and socialising than other Halls, including a lounge area and kitchen. There are two bathrooms per landing, meaning students share with just one other student.

New model

This is a pioneering scheme for the university. Each self-contained townhouse gives students a glimpse of living outside university life and allow them to enjoy being part of university life social and study spaces, receptions and laundries to encourage interaction and networking. Students are part of a community while also enjoying their own ‘space’ when needed.

The new accommodation allows Royal Holloway to guarantee residential places to first year undergraduates.

Michael Berry, Director of Estates at Royal Holloway:

“This is an exciting new model for student accommodation. Townhouses encourage communal living, with shared facilities and common areas, and our development among mature trees will include green spaces and sheltered paths connecting residences to the main campus."

Our work here, delivered on time and budget, forms part of a masterplan which will develop Royal Holloway’s historic estate into a 21st century campus that meets the needs of people studying and working at the university today.

Construction expertise

Willmott Dixon was procured under Scape Group’s Major Works framework and we worked with architect Stride Treglown. The project follows similar schemes our team of university student accommodation construction experts have delivered. Others include remodelling Mardol House in Shrewsbury to create student accommodation for the new university and new halls of residence at Moulton College in Northamptonshire.


  • New thinking for student halls
  • Series of townhouses
  • Students benefit from communal facilities
  • Ensures all first year students live on site