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Child Graddon Lewis gets green light for Manchester's tallest tower

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Child Graddon Lewis has won approval for its five-tower scheme in Manchester, including a 67-storey skyscraper

At 213m, the 67-storey tower will be the tallest building in Manchester, ahead of the 169m Beetham Tower and the under-construction 64-storey Tower One in Owen Street both by SimpsonHaugh and Partners.

Dubbed ‘Trinity Islands’, the scheme is described as the city’s ‘first vertical village’ and will provide 1,400 new flats.

As well as the centrepiece 67-storey landmark, the 175,857m² development also includes towers of 41 storeys, 37 storeys and two of 26 storeys.

Backed by Allied London, the plans for the former car park site next to the River Irwell also include shops, bars, gallery space, a riverside walkway, gym and boat club.

Greg Jones, associate director at Child Graddon Lewis, said the planning permission marked a ’significant step forward’ in the delivery of Trinity Islands.

He added: ‘Since we started working with Allied London on this scheme in 2014, we’ve focused on creating a design that deals with the challenges of an isolated under-utilised site, bringing forward a development proposal that matches the city’s ambition and drive with the scheme’s architecture and social aspirations.’

James Sidlow, project director at Allied London, previously described the project as ‘one of the tallest residential schemes in Western Europe’.

Child Graddon associate director Lewis Greg Jones said: ‘The aim of Trinity Islands is to provide Manchester with the opportunity to create a world-class neighbourhood and a self-sustaining community of residents and workers.

‘This is a project that goes beyond what’s required and not only creates housing – a well-known priority for the UK – but rather an environment that benefits local communities.’

Mike Ingall, chief executive of Allied London, said: ’This is an ambitious and important development. It is not simply a residential development; it’s the creation of a community that can serve a much wider neighbourhood.’ 

However, heritage groups the Victorian Society and Georgian Group object to the scheme. The Georgian Group has said the scheme will cause ‘substantial harm to the setting of several listed buildings’, while the Victorian Society has said the site is not ‘appropriate’ for tall buildings and the proposals would ‘seriously erode the character and integrity’ of the Castlefield Conservation Area

The site is next to the £1.35 billion St John’s regeneration scheme, backed by Allied London in partnership with Manchester City Council, on the former ITV Granada Studios site. Work is expected to start on site in 2018. 

Architect’s view

The scheme has been designed as a composition from a number of key view locations around the city. The orientation and arrangement of the blocks allows sightlines through the silhouette, while maximising the potential of this underutilised site. This approach provides a high density of housing, generating a critical mass in population to support the commerce and amenity that will make this a vibrant and sustainable place to live and work.

The elevational treatment reinforces the compositional nature of the massing arrangement; the colours to each façade will shift in hue and intensity as the angle of view changes, with each tower changing at a different rate as the observer moves around or through the scheme. It is a kinetic design concept, responding to the surrounding transport routes by road, rail, river, cycle or foot travel.

New public realm will stitch the development into the surrounding city, entirely regenerating a derelict waterfront and forgotten piece of Manchester sandwiched between a ring-road, a trainline and a waterway.

Project data

Type of project Residential led mixed use
Location Manchester
Client Allied London
Architect Child Graddon Lewis
Landscape architect Gillespies
Planning consultant Deloitte
Structural engineer WSP
M&E consultant WSP
Gross internal floor area 175,857m²

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