One Silk Street in Manchester by Mecanoo

One Silk Street sits in the heart of the Ancoats area in Manchester, a significant historical landmark associated with the Industrial Revolution. It contains the highest concentration of Grade II and II* Listed mill buildings in Manchester.

As part of the city’s expansion plan, aimed at enhancing the quality of life and driving change in its boundaries, particularly in the Ancoats area, Mecanoo designed a new mixed-use project called One Silk Street.

Photo © Greg Holmes

This innovative development encompasses a variety of housing options and commercial facilities, tailored to meet the evolving needs of contemporary residents and users.

Strong volume
The clear and strong volume comprising of 10 storeys including a basement, reaches a height of 34 meters. The building fully occupies the site, extending to the perimeter, and its corners are designed to be prominent, aligning with the historical grid pattern of the surrounding area.

Photo © Greg Holmes

The height of the Silk Road building has carefully been determined to harmonise with the existing streetscape, which features a diverse combination of heights and volumes.

A set back on the ground floor not only enhances the visual appeal of the streetscape, but it also contributes to dividing the overall structure into three distinct sections: the plinth, the body, and the crown. The plinth is designed to activate the street, incorporating entrances and terraces for the commercial spaces on the ground floor.

Photo © Greg Holmes

A double-height lobby serves as a focal point for both the commercial and residential entrances, effectively dividing the entire building length while simultaneously enriching the liveliness of the street. The single storey crown on top has been set back from the building perimeter to allow for terraces on this level.

Adaptability and flexibility
The development brings together top-tier 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and trendy workspace and co-working spaces.

Photo © Greg Holmes

Recognising the importance of adaptability and flexibility resulted in a layout and façade design that were meticulously crafted to accommodate different functions within the building. The grid system was specifically designed to cater for the diverse requirements of both office and residential spaces.

The Silk Road development has given careful consideration to the character and materiality of the area while respecting its historical significance.

Photo © Greg Holmes

The design reflects Ancoats’ distinctive identity, embracing the traditional use of red brick, gracefully proportioned facades, and a consistent composition of windows that emerged from a functional design and construction approach.

To enhance the visual appeal, the façades have been softened by using handmade bricks, stone accents, relief elements, and varying depths. All of which age gracefully over time. The material palette of the setback on the ninth-floor changes to enhance its overall harmony. Source by Mecanoo.

Photo © Greg Holmes

Location: Silk St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6LZ, United Kingdom

Architect: Mecanoo

Delivery Architect for the new build: Falconer Chester Hall

Heritage advisor: Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture Ltd.

Project management + Cost consultant: Turner & Townsend, London, UK

Structural engineer: Curtins, Manchester, UK

Mechanical + Electrical engineer: Beechfield Consulting Engineers, Manchester, UK,

Fire safety consultant: Ollson Fire & Risk, Manchester, UK & Hoare Lea, Manchester

Planning Consultant: Cushman & Wakefield, Manchester

Client: Northern Group, Manchester, UK

Programme: Mixed-use (residential and office spaces) Build-to-Rent property of 28,000 m2, 75 apartments (23 one-bed, 47 two-bed, and five three-bed apartments), 2787 m2 flexible workspace, rooftop terrace and parking spaces

Size: 28,000 m2

Year: 2022

Photographs: Greg Holmes, Courtesy of Mecanoo

Photo © Greg Holmes

Photo © Greg Holmes

Photo © Greg Holmes

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