New Islington Ancoats, Manchester

Main Project Info

Following FAT Architect’s Woodward Place scheme, dMFK won an RIBA competition to design fourteen new build affordable dwellings on Urban Splash’s pioneering twenty nine acre New Islington site in Manchester.

Winner – Housing Design Awards 2006 Best Metropolitan Scheme
Runner up – Housing Design Awards 2007 Best completed public housing scheme
Gold Medal – What House Awards Best Partnership Development
Runner up Daily Telegraph Your Home Awards Best Ecological Development
Shortlisted for RIBA Northwest Awards
Shortlisted for Brick Development Awards Best Public Housing development

We worked closely with the residents throughout to arrive at the final design. The Will Alsop master plan encourages a range of diverse design approaches which enabled us to give this scheme its own identity.  The resulting project is fusion of textural modernism with the typology of the 19th Century terrace. We employed sharp, robust detailing, rugged contrasting brick types to echo the context, and thoughtful internal planning to reflect the needs of the residents with whom the project was designed. The houses are triple aspect with private courtyards and huge dramatic windows.

The site is bounded by existing social housing and a Will Alsop designed private block across a vibrant pedestrian street that will connect the existing Cardroom estate to New Islington. As such, it is crucial in its ambition to knit the new communities to the old.  The aesthetic of the building responds to its context, present and future. Forms are articulated to enable their clear reading from all sides including above. Green roofs ensure the roof elevation will be vibrant to those looking down on it.

The project was completed on time, to budget and occupied in February 2007.


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