Plans for another Manchester tower block by SimpsonHaugh have been submitted for planning
The practice has drawn up proposals on behalf of developer Ask for two buildings – one of 40 storeys – close to the firm’s famous Beetham Tower on a site opposite the Grade II*-listed former Manchester Central Station.
The plans have already been opposed by Historic England, which says the skyscraper scheme would damage views of the historic building which is now used as a conference venue.
However, a planning statement by SimpsonHaugh said that the plans provide ‘an opportunity to draw the Grade II*-listed Manchester Central building back into the city core, resolving the poor quality and fractured public realm around it and creating new vantage points from which to appreciate its built form’.
Under the proposal, the 40-storey tower would provide 375 apartments. Clear and opaque (enamel fritted) glass, aluminium panel vents and aluminium fins within a unitised curtain wall system articulate the façade. The second building would provide 31,756m² of office space, plus shops or restaurants at ground floor.
The scheme would also create a new pedestrian route to Deansgate and the city centre, including a set of ‘green steps’.
The former station opposite the site was designed by Sir John Fowler and was the northern terminus for services from London St Pancras. It opened in July 1880 and was granted Grade II* listed building status in 1963, closing to passengers in 1969.
Architects’ view: David Green, partner, SimpsonHaugh
This exciting and challenging project involves the regeneration of a site which sits above an existing railway viaduct and currently presents almost half a mile of inactive frontage at street level. Our design proposal creates an elegant composition of buildings which activate the site’s street frontages and lock the development into its immediate context.
A residential tower is carefully positioned to relate to the adjacent Beetham Tower and frame a new public route from the viaduct-level tram stop down to Watson Street.
An office building bridges the tram line and creates a presence on Albion Street, with the two buildings connected by a landscaped terrace and living wall. The proposals have been carefully considered and developed with reference to the heritage assets in and adjacent to the site.