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FIRST LOOK

Timekeepers Square by Buttress reinstates Salford’s historic street pattern

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Part of the Salford Central regeneration scheme, this new development of 36 townhouses has been planned around a listed Neo-classical church

Covering an area of more than 44 acres, this scheme aims to reinvigorate Salford’s historic and civic centre by creating around 1,000 new homes, hotels, shops and restaurants in the Chapel Street and New Bailey areas.

The Timekeepers Square phase of the development sits within the leafy Adelphi/Bexley Square conservation area, with the Neo-classical Grade-II* listed St Phillip’s Church, designed by Robert Smirke, at its heart. The area also encompasses a row of Georgian terraces, a Victorian courthouse, St John’s Cathedral and the former town hall, all of which are Grade-II listed.

A primary urban design aim for the project was to reinstate the area’s historic street pattern and reintroduce a legibility to the streets that would strengthen the centrepiece to the neighbourhood – St Phillip’s Church.

7599 Timekeepers Square N144

7599 Timekeepers Square N144

Source: Daniel Hopkinson

The strategic plan for Timekeepers Square has been to create clearly defined rows of terraces which relate and are sensitive to the Georgian terraces, responding to them in height, massing and rhythm.

Two blocks of two- and three-bed terraced houses have been set out along the edges of a new pedestrian boulevard – St Phillip’s Walk – leading up to the church. The new townhouses have a strong vertical emphasis with repetitive and regular rhythm fenestration patterns. These are further emphasised by deep recesses to the windows and door sets that contrast with, and add detail to, the flat façade treatment.

A restrained palette of materials has been chosen to respond to and enrich the material quality of the existing buildings and streetscape. The brickwork colour and texture chosen mediates between that of the Georgian houses and the sandstone of St Philip’s and the cathedral. Meanwhile, delicate metal filigree Juliet balustrades and boundary railings provide a visual and material foil to the brickwork, articulating the elevations and echoing the cast iron railings surrounding the church. A standing zinc finish to the two-storey houses further adds to the restrained material palette. All properties have secure parking and private ground floor gardens, while the three- and four-bedroom houses also have private roof terraces.

7599 Timekeepers Square N137

7599 Timekeepers Square N137

Source: Daniel Hopkinson

Architect’s view

The new family homes, with roof gardens overlooking the communal court, reinterpret the neighbouring Georgian vernacular in a contemporary manner while subtly reinforcing in scale, massing and materiality the adjacent historic urban fabric.

The development represents a materially significant step in providing new housing suitable for sustainable family living in the heart of Salford and within a short walking distance of Manchester city centre.

John Riley, associate, Buttress

plans 3

plans 3

Source: Buttress

Three/Four bedroom townhouse plans

Project data

Start on site November 2015
Completion June 2017
Gross internal floor area 3,327m²
Form of contract Design and Build
Construction cost £5.5 million
Construction cost per m² £1,653
Architect Buttress
Client English Cities Fund
Structural engineer Integra Consulting Engineering
M&E consultant Hannan Associates
Quantity surveyor/project manager Appleyard and Trew
CDM coordinator Appleyard and Trew
Main contractor John Turner Construction
Approved building inspector Approved Design
CAD software used Autocad and Microstation
Annual CO2 emissions 88-98 kg/m²

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