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Victoria Riverside\

Kickstarting the regeneration of Victoria North, bringing over 630 new homes to Manchester City Centre

A family of three sculptural towers, designed to maximise visual permeability across the site and create new streets for a thriving community.

Victoria Riverside is a landmark, mixed-use residential development that will bring 634 new homes to Manchester City Centre and form part of the first phase of the £1bn Victoria North masterplan. The three sculptural towers will join Manchester’s evolving skyline while new public realm, landscaping, commercial spaces and townhouses will activate the surrounding streets to provide the catalyst for a new community to thrive.

The challenge

Our brief was to develop a high density, landmark proposal that addressed the key principles from the Northern Gateway Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF): improving connectivity along the main East-West axis; encouraging pedestrian activity to surrounding natural infrastructure; and; providing a framework for a diverse mix of housing typologies and tenures.

The big idea

Our approach to the site has been to embed quality in our design, from district to doorknob. The placement and sculpting of the three towers allows the site to integrate with the wider district creating visual permeability and key connections back to the urban landscape and to the natural features of St Catherine’s Wood and the River Irk. The generous picture windows celebrate these connections at a human scale and highlight the form and fluting of the building close-up and at a city scale, with a unique colour palette for each building offering distinct identity.

The small detail

The tower layouts have been designed to ‘stagger’ the arrangement of the homes and living spaces to respond to the geometry of the site whilst also maximising views across the Irk Valley and back towards the City. The towers accommodate 100% dual aspect apartments with a generous angled ‘picture’ window to each living space that frames key local vistas.

The lower level blocks along Dantzic Street and Bromley Street accommodate a diverse range of housing typologies including townhouses with front doors onto Bromley Street and maisonettes on the upper levels. Raised entrance terraces and external balconies animate the façade, providing private amenity and promoting social interaction between neighbours. The scheme offers a mix of tenures including shared ownership.

The façade approach for the towers utilises the simple unifying expression of a two-storey grid. The grid is composed of solid anodised metal panels and vertical perforated panels concealing doors that provide natural ventilation to the units. Each ‘picture’ window has a framed metal reveal to give the fluted areas of the form depth and texture. These are further celebrated through the use of a controlled palette of colours giving each building within the scheme a distinct identity.

The towers sit above a brick podium - a direct response to the backdrop of railway arches along the viaduct. The grid wraps down into the podium and mid-rise blocks expressed as a brick frame which opens up to accommodate double height shopfronts along Dantzic Street and a glazed residential 'super-lobby' facing on to the newly proposed Gateway Square.

The bigger picture

“Victoria Riverside will be one of the first major sites to be brought forward as part of the Victoria North masterplan – a joint venture between Far East Consortium (FEC) and Manchester City Council to regenerate an area to the north of Manchester city centre and deliver over 15,000 new homes over the next 15 to 20 years. Within the framework, there is a strong emphasis on community infrastructure and connectivity across the 7 neighbourhoods through a network of high-quality public spaces and a unique city river park that commences opposite the proposal. Victoria Riverside falls within Red Bank, a bordering neighbourhood of New Cross where Hawkins\Brown have also developed the New Cross Central scheme with FEC.”

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Project Summary

  • Project name: Victoria Riverside
  • Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Client: Far East Consortium
  • Status: Current

Project Team

Planning Consultant: Avison Young
Landscape Architect: Planit IE
Structural Engineer: Civic Engineers
Services Engineer: Arup
Fire Engineer: BB7 / Omega Fire
Cost Consultant: Arcadis

Principal Designer: Hawkins\Brown

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