Located on the site of a former railway station opposite Manchester Cathedral, CRTKL has designed three buildings under the new Origin brand for a new residential community.
Our client Select Property Group appointed CRTKL to help unlock an unrealised 10 year vision for a challenging redevelopment site. The project forms part of a wider neighbourhood of regeneration located on the former site of Manchester Exchange station. One of the most complex regeneration works undertaken in Manchester city centre in recent years, the demolition of a historic viaduct to enable the buildings to engage at street level, while working alongside an active rail line, presented a series of challenges throughout the construction programme.
The Embankment neighbourhood has become the gateway to this newly developed Greengate district – with “Affinity Living Embankment West” Build To Rent development split across two buildings and ‘City Suites 2’ serviced apartments right at the very heart of it. Delivering 356 build to rent and 147 serviced apartments across three buildings, the inspiration from the site’s heritage, with the buildings are romantically stacked ‘luggage-like’ across their respective 18, 16 and 18 stories, celebrating a scene that would have once been commonplace on the platforms of the former Manchester Exchange station.
Our approach to fragmenting the buildings is reinforced by using different façade finishes for each of the resultant legible parts. A dark brick on the lower floors matches the height of the viaduct behind, holding the blocks together, with greater detailing here to respond to the human scale and street level.
The design team took a considered approach to the design of the buildings on the reclaimed land. A key element of the scheme involved the creation of a new public square with active frontage to all public faces with the landscape design and finishes relating directly to the historic footprint of the embankment. The result is a grouping of buildings and a new public square that are readily identifiable as distinctive to the sites history and create a genuine sense of place.