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Plans submitted to convert iconic Toast Rack into homes

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Ollier Smurthwaite Architects and SixTwo Architects have submitted plans to redevelop Manchester Metropolitan University’s 1960s modernist Hollings Campus, including the iconic Toast Rack building.

Backed by developer Generation, the residential-led proposal for the plot in Fallowfield, south of Manchester city centre, includes 210 one, two, three and four bed homes for private rent.

Ollier Smurthwaite has designed the new-build element of the scheme - a twisting, 60-flat tower together with a ‘stitching block’ to the rear housing a further 47 homes. SixTwo is working on converting the existing buildings - the Toast Rack and the Horseshoe - into around 100 new apartments.

Where the homes will be built:
 Type of home Horseshoe Toast Rack Stitching
1 bed 18 8 2
2 bed 18 33 43
3 bed 6 18 2
4 bed   2  
Total 42 61 47

Manchester City Council will decide the plans, which also includes 1,858m² of gym and leisure facilities, 650m² of retail plus co-working space.

The Toast Rack building, which will be turned into an apartment block, will have a new rooftop garden boasting views across Manchester.

The team a held a public consultation on the plans in October 2015 and has already liaised with the Manchester Modernist Society, 20th Century Society, Places Matter and Historic England over the designs.

Designed by city architect Leonard Cecil Howitt, the Toast Rack was completed in 1960 as the Domestic Trades College and was listed at Grade II in 1998.

The campus was vacated after the university moved to the city centre in 2013, and was bought by Generation the following year.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • So the deformed style of 'look at me' building is to be rolled out in Manchester - I wonder if the warped and twisted form of the new-build will eventually come to symbolise what's perceived as a warped and twisted attitude to architectural novelty, in the absence of any real design flair?

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