The redevelopment of Manchester city centre is gathering pace as the UK’s ‘northern powerhouse’ continues to grow. As part of this trend architectural practice Sheppard Robson has achieved planning consent for the £185m mixed-used development in New Victoria, Manchester, for client Muse Developments in partnership with Network Rail. The masterplan includes three new buildings that sit adjacent to Manchester Victoria Station, which was transformed through a £44m refurbishment programme last year. Sheppard Robson’s design includes a 150,000 ft office block and two residential towers of 20 and 25 storeys comprising 520 one, two and three bed apartments.
The architects have used contrasting architectural languages to clearly delineate between the office and two residential buildings. The eight-storey, 150,000 sq ft office building – occupying a gateway position into New Victoria – is characterised by high-performance glass, taking crystal-like form. The lively, multifaceted facades break down the mass of the structure whilst animating the building with reflections of the varied local context.
The two taller residential structures are more solid in appearance, with the depth and quality of the façades taking their cues from the surrounding historic listed estate along Corporation Street and the façades profiled panels run at regular intervals from top to bottom giving the buildings a clear vertical expression. The panels extend and wrap around the top of the buildings, providing shelter for the rooftops terraces.
Tony O’Brien, Partner at Sheppard Robson’s 70-strong Manchester office, said: “On a prominent site, that forms a gateway into the city, we wanted our design to broadcast the ambition and quality of the development. We are delighted that our plans for this unique site have been approved and look forward to seeing how this significant investment in the area will have a positive impact on the city centre.”
The bases of the buildings activate the development at street- level, delivering 7,000 sq ft of space for retail and leisure uses, whilst also redefining the Corporation Street edge to reanimate and transform it into a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly space fronting the buildings.
The masterplan will facilitate the phased delivery of the new buildings, which when built, will further contribute to the reinvigoration of this strategically important gateway in to the city.
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