The design evolution of Oldham Road has adopted the idea of Cottonopolis and creating a modern ‘mill’ building on the site of an area which was once a bustling area of printing businesses.
The Oldham Road site is nestled between listed buildings, vacant sites and a new development ranging from 6 – 10 storeys. Responding massing-wise to the height of Manchester’s Northern Quarter to the south of the site and the New Cross area to the north, generated the two-tired and stepped floor plans of the proposed development.
The site is long and deep and therefore introducing a courtyard into the proposal created proportional and efficient floor plans, as well as making sure the perimeter of the building creates a strong relationship with the proposed NDF masterplan.
Stepping the massing of the design down towards the ‘Manchester City Centre’ side of the proposal helped us break down the larger massing originally proposed. We then introduced the hierarchy of the brick piers vertically and GRC bands horizontally to layer the façade and create depth through materiality. The horizontal breaks the verticality of the design.
Engagement from Manchester City Council has helped us inform the ground floor interaction and the resident’s amenity space. We have proposed the commercial unit to sit on the Oldham Road side of the development, responding to the major road and also allowing residential accommodation around the ‘secondary’ sites within the masterplan. Activity at ground floor feeds into the grand overall vision for the area, helping create communities and neighbourhoods for future residences.