Student accommodation block on Isle of Dogs will be one of world’s tallest modular buildings

EPR modular tower

EPR’s 48-storey tower was approved by Tower Hamlets council this week

Plans for a 48-storey block near Canary Wharf to be built using pods manufactured offsite were approved by Tower Hamlets councillors this week. They were submitted by Tide Construction, the developer behind the world’s tallest residential modular building.

Designed by EPR Architects, the student accommodation scheme at 30 Marsh Wall will house just over 1,000 studio apartments including four amenity levels and a roof garden.

EPR modular tower 6

The tower will house just over 1,000 studio apartments for students 

EPR’s block will be built using prefabricated pods that will be transported to Marsh Wall and stacked on top of each other. Tide used the same technique on a pair of 38 and 44-storey towers in Croydon which made headlines last year when they became the world’s tallest.

Tide is now building an even taller, 50-storey scheme on a neighbouring plot. All three Croydon towers were drawn up by HTA Design.

EPR modular tower 4

The scheme will be built using prefabricated modular pods manufactured offsite

Tower Hamlets’ planning committee voted seven to one to approve the Canary Wharf block on Wednesday evening, backing a recommendation for approval given by the planning officer.

The use of off-site construction could reduce construction waste by up to 80%, according to the officer’s report, with 97% of the waste being recycled - although the scheme will require the demolition of the site’s currently vacant seven-storey block dating to the 1990s.

EPR modular tower 3

Objections included concerns that the tower’s facade looked “cheap and tacky”

The report also highlighted concerns raised during the scheme’s consultation rounds, including that its facade looked “cheap and tacky”, and that the design was “out of date” and looked like a “high-rise slum block”.

EPR modular tower 2

The tower will be built on a constricted triangular site at Marsh Wall

Objections also questioned the necessity of building a student accommodation block in the area despite no nearby university, and suggested that it would be more sustainable to refurbish the existing building.


Other firms working on the project include modular contractor Vision Modular, landscape architect Spacehub Design, daylight consultants Avison Young, planning consultant Rolf Judd Planning and structural engineer Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineer.

EPR modular tower 5

The scheme (pictured centre) is the latest in a cluster of towers to the south of Canary Wharf to be given planning approval