Hodder + Partners has revealed its ‘refined’ designs for the contentious high-rise scheme in Manchester, backed by footballers-turned-developers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs
The practice has been working on the headline-grabbing St Michael’s project since June, after replacing Ken Shuttleworth’s practice Make, whose twin-tower design was abandoned following a public outcry.
The latest visuals released by Hodder + Partners show how the façade of the lozenge-shaped 134.5m-tall centrepiece skyscraper has been tweaked in response to a second round of public consultation.
According to the scheme’s backers, the ‘enhanced’ design ‘sees the vertical mullions sculptured to give an extra level of depth, resulting in more animated elevations’.
A spokesperson said: ‘[These mullions], combined with the anodised bronze of the mullions and the lozenge shape of the building, will result in different reflections and colours of light bouncing off the building.
‘This new design has also been incorporated into the podium and office element, thus providing greater animation at street level. The crown of the building has also been redesigned to provide a more dynamic finish.’
Stephen Hodder of Hodder + Partners said in a statement: ‘I was encouraged by the outcome of the public consultations but welcomed a pause to re-evaluate the details of the elevations.
‘I feel the outcome is a more dynamic expression, one that not only adds vibrancy to the tower, but also presents a stronger engagement with the adjoining streets.’
Evolution of the Hodder + Partners’ designs
Although the external design of the scheme has been enhanced, the massing remains unchanged and – in addition to the main tower – features 13,657m² of office space, 2,973m² of leisure space, 170 flats over 19 storeys, and a 200-bedroom hotel over 12 storeys.
The project was handed to Stephen Hodder, who had been brought in to review the mixed-use scheme in March, after both of Make’s previous attempts had come in for heavy criticism – especially from local heritage campaigners – and Make subsequently resigned from the job.
Hodder’s changes to the scheme included the retention of the historic Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and frontage of the Neoclassical Bootle Street Police Station (1937). Both would have been demolished to make way for the Make-designed development, and in January the police station was named on The Twentieth Century Society’s top 10 list of buildings most at risk.
But the 1950s-built Manchester Reform Synagogue in Jackson’s Row is still set for demolition. A new synagogue is to be built within the podium of the proposed tower block.
The overall height of the scheme was reduced by 2m and the tower’s footprint was pushed to the western edge of the plot so it would be less obtrusive when viewed from St Ann’s Square.
The project is backed by Singapore property developer Rowsley and The Jackson’s Row Development Partnership, which is owned by Neville, Giggs and Brendan Flood. They hope to submit an updated proposal to Manchester City Council in early November.
A further 21-day public consultation will follow.
A spokesperson for the development team told the AJ that the aim was for the application to be included in the council’s February planning committee with a view to starting on site next year.