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AJ Architecture Awards 2018: Infrastructure Project of the Year

Ordsall Chord by BDP has scooped Infrastructure Project of the Year at the 2018 AJ Architecture Awards

This complex and trailblazing project is an example of what Network Rail can deliver when good engineering is combined with outstanding urban design in a holistic approach to city-making.

Described by the judges as ‘a layered intervention which extracts and adds value to the surrounding public realm and lays the framework for high-quality urban regeneration over the next decade’, the £320 million Ordsall Chord provides a rail link between Manchester’s Piccadilly and Victoria stations. 

Stitching together a site which features the world’s first passenger railway, and three Grade I-listed and 21 Grade II-listed heritage assets, BDP’s interdisciplinary team undertook a collaborative stakeholder process to develop a holistic approach to designing new streets and squares in this historic setting. Concrete cantilevers to the listed railway arches incorporate a fan detail to the underside of the extended arches, adding interest and human scale to these found spaces. The successful integration of urban design and heritage regeneration into what could have been a purely engineering-led project makes this scheme a clear winner in its category.  

Highly Commended


AJ18 Landscape image 1A

AJ18 Landscape image 1A

‘This is a complex project of great ambition, which is beautifully conceived and executed,’ the judges said. Grounded in Hackney Wick’s context, a sensitive materiality results in a warm colour palette, which, along with an expert handling of light, would make a daily journey through this station a delight, the jury agreed.


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