Abito Apartments

BDP, Manchester, 2007


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Martine Hamilton Knight (website)     Download Original

  • Ground floor plan    
  • Typical upper floor plan    
  • Habitation study plan    
  • Typical apartment plan    
  • Long section    
  • South elevation    
  • West elevation    
  • Long section - environmental    
  • Apartment render    

Compact apartment scheme with 256 modular units over seven floors

The brief was to design a compact apartment scheme, which would deliver high quality design on a budget; to innovate and ‘test assumptions’.

The result was a modular apartment building, which has been designed from the inside out. The planning of each flat has been governed by two principles: the elimination of ‘dead space’ by overlapping functional areas; and the provision of a generous volume within each apartment.

The nine-storey 256-apartment building fills the plot, pushing the apartments to the edge of the site, thereby creating a private, semi-external courtyard at its centre, protected from the weather by a translucent fabric canopy. Within the landscaped courtyard, occupants gain access to their flats via the central lift and stair and the galleries which connect each level.

Each apartment has a central services pod, which contains a bathroom, a utility cupboard, a kitchen and a wardrobe. The pod is made from precast concrete and largely fitted off-site.


  • Begun: 2005
  • Completed: 2007
  • Floor area: 35,000m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £23M
  • Address: 85 Greengate, Manchester, M3 7NA, United Kingdom

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