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Manchester Charrette: Introduction

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Argent has always championed the idea imaginative building design, here we set the scene for the charrette

Airport City Manchester is one of the most significant and exciting major development projects in the UK. Located beside the UK’s third largest airport (with flights to more than 230 destinations around the globe) and with excellent road, rail, tram and bus connections, Airport City links businesses to talent and markets throughout the country and across the world. Backed by a joint venture of major national and international businesses, the project is set to take to the next level Manchester’s successful transformation back to being an economic powerhouse.

Airport City is a large project – it covers about 60ha – and will include new logistics, office, hotel and advanced manufacturing space, as well as ancillary retail and leisure uses. Situated in Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, this is very much a commercial district, which creates its own opportunities and challenges.

Argent has always championed the idea that imaginative building design and carefully considered public spaces are essential ingredients in sustainable and successful placemaking. Businesses are also recognising more than ever that, in the war for talent, having a great working environment both inside and outside the office is an essential part of attracting and retaining the best people.

With much of Airport City undeveloped, there is a wonderful opportunity to set out the scheme in a way that helps create a vibrant new place and meets occupiers’ aspirations. As we have done in the past at King’s Cross in London and Brindleyplace in Birmingham, we wanted to bring fresh ideas to the Airport City project while it is still, in large part, on the drawing board. Working again with the AJ has allowed us to draw from the creativity of some of the country’s most exciting architecture practices to see how they would respond to the challenges of the site.

We are really excited by the quality of what has been produced, by the approaches used and the solutions offered. Once again, this process has brought something extra to our work at Airport City.

Ruairidh Jackson, senior projects director, Argent 



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