The Lock Building

MBLC, Manchester, 2005


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The Lock Building 

Ioana Marinescu     Download Original

  • The Lock Building    
  • The Lock is set in the middle of central Manchester    
  • The canal elevation: the terracotta cladding is topped by two zinc-clad upper floors    
  • The Lock competes with the other buildings along the canal    
  • The street elevation, with the early 20th-century Ritz building next door    
  • The entrance: defined by sloping concrete columns and a cantilever    
  • The atrium is the heart of the building and main circulation space    
  • Exposed roof structure and suspended walkways    
  • Living rooms look out onto the street and canal    
  • Site plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Fifth floor plan    
  • Section and sketch    
  • Atrium roof detail    
  • Detailed section through walkway    

Inner-city Manchester apartment block consisting of 155 apartments over nine storeys

The Lock's unique feature is the full height light-filled central 'street'. The south-facing wall to the street is canted at 7 degrees to allow deeper penetration of daylight into the space.

Walkways are suspended from the glass roof and bridges from the walkways give access to apartment front doors. The public faces of the building respond to the different urban environments they overlook - one way a trunk road, the other way a canal corridor.

The building has an exposed roof structure and suspended walkways across the central atrium, which also provides all the circulation for the inhabitants. The central atrium is fully naturally lit and ventilated with a glazed roof.

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