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De Metz to join Alsop in New Islington

De Metz Architects has been picked to design the next phase of social housing on Manchester's £200 million New Islington Millennium Community regeneration scheme.

The competition was organised by the RIBA and also attracted entries from Riches Hawley Mikhali, Studio Egret, Ash Sakula, Sarah Wigglesworth and Alison Brooks.

To be known as Piercy Street, De Metz's design will provide up to 25 homes for rent by social landlords, MMHG.

It will dovetail into Alsop Architects' masterplan for New Islington, which will feature 1,400 new homes plus offices, shops, restaurants, leisure facilities surrounded by a million square feet of parkland. It will also include a new primary school and health clinic.

Phase one of the social housing opens next year, while the entire project is due for completion in 2007.

'We believe the New Islington masterplan creates an exciting model for development in the UK,' said Julian De Metz.

'It is inherently democratic, both in the way designers are selected and in the development of schemes directly with local communities while encouraging design excellence.

'De Metz will spent the next few months in discussions with the area's residents to work up the designs,' he added.

by Clive Walker

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