Cambridge Street

Hodder + Partners, Manchester, 2016


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The tower heights vary in stepped segments 

Peter Cook     Download Original

  • The tower heights vary in stepped segments    
  • The site is naturally enclosed on two sides by the River Medlock    
  • The towers are clad with white Corium, a brick tile cladding system manufactured by Wienerberger    
  • Alternate pairs of balconies rotate through 90° in a dovetail arrangement     
  • The external walls are predominantly a white brick tile cladding    
  • The building’s structure is a reinforced concrete flat slab frame     
  • The scheme comprises two towers    
  • The entrance    
  • Communal space    
  • Living space    
  • View of the interior    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement floor plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Podium floor plan    
  • Floor plans levels 6 and 15    
  • Floor plans levels 17 and 22    
  • River Medlock block section    
  • River Street block section    
  • Balcony detail    

A two-tower PRS housing scheme, part of Terry Farrell and Partners’ 2004 Macintosh Village Masterplan.

The masterplan was designed to create a new focal point-cum-gateway in the city to bolster the 214ha Oxford Road education corridor, 100m to the east, masterplanned simultaneously by John McAslan + Partners. 

There are two towers. One rises 28 storeys from ground level on the southern corner of the site; the other 19 storeys, passing through a gated podium on the north-east side. The podium carries a small, dog-legged plaza from which the smaller tower is entered.

The white Wienerberger Corium brick tiles, with pale grey pointing on the façades, contrast with the weathered brick of the Victorian façades to the west and south. The tower heights vary in stepped segments. The cores are expressed externally in bronze powder-coated aluminium sheafs. Verticality is accentuated via two-storey slit-windows in the centres of the façades. Flush-fronted, two-storey balcony sets are deeply punched. Filing-cabinet-like balcony pods are stacked in runs.

The external walls are predominantly a white brick tile cladding, a response to Manchester’s urban structure in which key buildings are articulated materially by the use of Portland Stone. Below entrance datum level, the brick is grey, with a corresponding matching mortar, the intention being to visually ‘ground’ the buildings. The service cores are defined by bronze-coloured polyester powder-coated metal panels with horizontal profiled joints.  Window frames and spandrels, balcony cladding and handrails are likewise powder-coated bronze
he towers are expressed as sculpted forms, with the main podium and tower elements separated from each other with recessive slots of vertical and horizontal glazing. Above the podium, the balconies are recessed to emphasise the elemental quality of each tower, while affording shelter for residents. Windows are recessed by a brick and a half, reflecting the deep reveals of the surrounding Victorian forebears. Within the podium, balconies project to give visual emphasis to corners.

The building’s structure is a reinforced concrete flat slab frame with lateral stability provided by reinforced concrete stair and lift cores. A large part-basement, formed by contiguous piled retaining walls, provides two levels of car parking. A key technical challenge was the site location itself, and its constraints in comparison to the scale of the building and the proximity of construction to the site boundary. The site is naturally enclosed on two sides by the River Medlock, and by the neighbouring Chorlton Mill on the south boundary, resulting in access only being possible from one side. 


  • Begun: Jul 2014
  • Completed: Oct 2016
  • Floor area: 26,130m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • CO2 Emissions: 23.1kg/m2/year
  • Address: Cambridge Street, Manchester, M15 6BP, United Kingdom

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