Manchester: £300m Great Northern transformation

Manchester: £300m Great Northern transformation

The £300m transformation of the grade II*-listed Great Northern Warehouse has taken a major step forward with plans submitted to “create a new urban quarter that will add to Manchester’s building reputation as a world city”. New images of the proposals have also been unveiled.

The partnership that owns the site, Trilogy Real Estate and Peterson Group, has lodged a planning application to Manchester City Council to revamp the warehouse, Great Northern Square and Deansgate Terraces. Since acquiring the Great Northern in 2013, the partnership has been developing a series of proposals in a £300m, ten-year plan to bring the area to life.

The planning application follows two public exhibitions in August 2017 and a series of consultation events that engaged more than 200 local residents and stakeholders, with the feedback given helping to shape the design. The plans have been drawn up by a team of consultants that includes masterplanner Will Alsop’s aLL Design, architect SimpsonHaugh, landscape specialist Planit-IE and interior architect Johnson Naylor. The project team also includes surveyor and project manager 2110 Consult and Pathways on the public consultation.

Robert Wolstenholme of Trilogy Real Estate said: “The Great Northern Warehouse and Square offer one of the most significant regeneration opportunities in Manchester city centre, and we have spoken to over 200 local stakeholders and residents to try to get this right. In particular, this process has shaped the character of the public space, where we aim to play our part in a city-wide initiative to bring trees and greenery into the heart of the civic centre.

“We’re restoring the historic character of the Great Northern, stripping away the modern structures that disfigure the historic warehouse and making sensitive interventions that are in tune with the quality of the site. Alongside our neighbours at St John’s, our vision is to regenerate this underperforming part of the city and create a new urban quarter that will add to Manchester’s building reputation as a world city.”

Nick Owen, partner at SimpsonHaugh said: “The design proposals are shaped by the key principles of respecting and celebrating the site’s heritage assets and transforming the existing public realm. By stripping back the obtrusive modern additions and sensitively repairing and enhancing the original fabric, we aim to reveal this great building for the public to enjoy.”

Trilogy and Peterson said that they view the current use of the Great Northern Warehouse as a car park as “completely at odds with the quality and heritage value of the building”. The designs propose to revive the Great Northern Warehouse by converting the upper three storeys to high-quality residential accommodation, stripping away modern additions like the parking ramps to reveal the building’s historic character and conserve its heritage.

In addition, Deansgate Terraces will be renovated to create a high-quality retail street at ground level, with residences on the upper floors.

Across the site, public space will be increased by more than 25 per cent to 84,497 sq ft. The designers have placed pedestrian access at the top of their priorities, proposing new pedestrian routes across the site lined with front doors, shops and cafes.

Great Northern Square has been reimagined to create a new “urban oasis that will boost local biodiversity and provide a place for families, local residents and workers to relax”. The existing amphitheatre will be covered over, with a lawn placed on top and broad-leaved trees planted.

Under the square, a series of water tanks are proposed to collect rainwater that will provide irrigation for the new trees and sustainable water uses within the apartments.

There will also be an artwork on the terminating wall of the Deansgate Terrace featuring engraved verses from Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy. Trilogy and Peterson hope to have this in place in time for the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre, which the poem commemorates.

Meanwhile, new pedestrian thoroughfare Dean Street will run parallel to Deansgate, providing retail units “ideally suited for independent retailers, cafés restaurants and bars”. And public realm on top of the former railway lines will be activated by relocating the entrance to the existing cinema alongside proposed gym and restaurant entrances.

Further phases of the £300m transformation are currently in the early stages of consultation, with plans in place to realise the project in full over the next ten years.

Great Northern Square has been reimagined to create a new “urban oasis that will boost local biodiversity and provide a place for families, local residents and workers to relax”. The existing amphitheatre will be covered over, with a lawn placed on top and broad-leaved trees planted.

Under the square, a series of water tanks are proposed to collect rainwater that will provide irrigation for the new trees and sustainable water uses within the apartments.

There will also be an artwork on the terminating wall of the Deansgate Terrace featuring engraved verses from Shelley’s Masque of Anarchy. Trilogy and Peterson hope to have this in place in time for the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre, which the poem commemorates.

Meanwhile, new pedestrian thoroughfare Dean Street will run parallel to Deansgate, providing retail units “ideally suited for independent retailers, cafés restaurants and bars”. And public realm on top of the former railway lines will be activated by relocating the entrance to the existing cinema alongside proposed gym and restaurant entrances.

Further phases of the £300m transformation are currently in the early stages of consultation, with plans in place to realise the project in full over the next ten years.

Source: Insider Media

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