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Ian Simpson unveils new Manchester skyscraper

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These are the first images of Ian Simpson Architects’ proposals for a new 42-storey block of flats off Mancunian Way in Manchester

The scheme, which is five floors lower than Simpson’s landmark Beetham Tower across the city, will see the demolition of a half-built, Leach Rhodes Walker-designed hotel which currently occupies the site between River Street and Garwood Street.

As well as housing 600 apartments, the project includes a business centre, a shop, 17 car parking spaces, 50 bicycle parking spaces and 200 foldaway bicycle lockers.

The half-built concrete frame currently on the plot

The half-built concrete frame currently on the plot

The architect’s view
The development comprises three distinct volumes; Mancunian Way volume which is six storeys in height, River Street/ Garwood Street volume stepping from 14 storeys fronting Garwood Street down to 6 storeys facing River Street, and a Tower volume which is 42 storeys in height.
The building is arranged with the main entrance & reception foyer located at ground floor level and accessed from River Street. Also located at ground level are the cafe/bar/retail space and a Business/ Community Hub.
The building forms are a composition of simple, bold volumes that clearly express the modular nature of the accommodation, with the apartments located on the upper levels 01 to 05 and levels 07 through to 40. The volumes interlock forming interstitial spaces within which a sequence of internal and external shared spaces provide the communal ‘heart’ of the building at level 06. Plant and building maintenance is provided at levels 13, and 41 at roof level of the Tower and Garwood Street volume.


The building is set back from the pavement to provide a wider public realm along River Street leading to the front entrance and the Cafe/ Bar/ Retail space. The building forms are composed around a sequence of landscaped spaces which provide a variety of external communal amenity spaces for the building occupants. These start with a private courtyard at ground level into which the cafe and foyer seating areas will spill out, and continue with the roof gardens at level 06.

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