Proposals for a 55-storey tower adjacent to Manchester’s Oxford Road Station have been submitted. GHA were appointed to undertake design proposals for this site on behalf of GMS (Parking) Ltd. Currently a multi-story car park on Hulme Street, the Student Castle scheme will encompass purpose-built student accommodation and SME incubator workspace to provide a dedicated solution for the sustainable growth of the student population in Manchester and to compliment Manchester’s position as a pioneering city promoting development of future generations.
The site’s proximity to public transport, the city centre, Oxford Street Station, and the local universities make it an ideal location for a scheme of this type.
The design will establish a city landmark that will bring Manchester’s industrial heritage to the skyline and provide a contemporary and elegant interpretation of the area’s historic red brick buildings. Alongside its two near-neighbours, the building will form a high-rise tripartite cluster with the existing 32-storey Liberty Heights and the proposed 30-storey 1-5 New Wakefield Street. The red brick façade of the Hulme Street tower offers a considered contrast with their façades (ceramic grey and silver metallic).
Director Dav Bansal said “Rising amongst its context of red brick warehouses, Student Castle will be the most slender structure in Manchester at 55 storeys. The design pays homage to its industrial heritage of magnificent red brick chimneys that once dominated the city’s skyline. The solid mill ‘chimney’ language defies many modern skyscrapers and instead creates an expression with a real sense of ‘being of Manchester’. The slenderness is reinforced by its homogenous skin of brick panels that alternates on every floor to open up glazed slots and add relief to the façade. The use of modern construction technologies will enable us to deliver traditional brick material at such heights in prefabricated modules. The animated ground floor and opening up views of the River Medlock help to create a quality public realm experience and welcomes you into the generous double-height foyer space. We are delighted to be a part of the team on this very ambitious project that will create an attractive and desirable place for students to live, work and enjoy the breath taking views across the city.”