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Manchester Charrette: Architecture 00

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Architecture 00’s proposals for a new Airport City outside Manchester: Terminal 4 - the 24 hour city under one roof

Architecture 00

David Saxby and Bethany Wells

Architecture 00 is a London-based multidisciplinary design studio with a reputation for innovative placemaking strategies. It is gaining increasing recognition for implementing these through innovative built works.


Design approach

This is not a city. This is Airport City. The normal rules do not apply.

Our response celebrates the non-traditional typology that is the airport, and its lack of conformity to accepted rules of urban design. It is the archetypal 24-hour city under one roof, with its intrinsic motivation completely divorced from the particularity of any place or time zone; no north, no south, no day, no night, no wind, no rain, no roads, no nature.

Manchester Charrette

Source: David Butler

However, beyond the modern stress of budget air travel lies an extraordinary architectural realm that, while increasingly overlooked by the adult traveller, has an intensity and drama that still manages to excite the untainted eye.

In a world where collocation and collaboration are increasingly important for innovation, the isolation of the traditional business park seems anachronistic. Terminal 4 presents an alternative – an incubator that co-locates business, research, education and local community under one roof. A seed for the future of Airport City Enterprise Zone.

Crit notes

Michel Mossessian This is a type of project I enjoy very much, as it can turn the mundane into something exceptional. Like Boullée, this brings the city inside the building.

Ruairidh Jackson You build a shed and do what you can. This is not one building solution; there are four in it. It’s a good idea to bring everything inside.

Ed Lister A slick and very impressive demonstration of what can be achieved within seven hours.  

Phil Doyle A city under one roof responding to the ‘epic’ nature of airports – very Mancunian!

60 seconds with Architecture 00

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘business park’?
Isolation. Lonely, sterile places. Dated – aesthetically and conceptually. In a creative collaborative economy it seems an anachronistic typology.

And when you hear the words ‘airport city’?
Connectivity, a global economy. No streets or squares. It won’t grow and develop in the same way  as the traditional town or city.

What is the single most appealing aspect of the site and masterplan?
The potential for a radical typology, totally unencumbered by what has gone before.

In one sentence, sum up how you are bringing the site to life.
We’re not tweaking the business park model, we’re trying to curate intensity around which a collaborative business eco-system can grow.

Which Manchester pop song sums up your approach?
It’s not a tune, it’s a warehouse party at The Hacienda.

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