The project provides a mix of uses comprising 4no. commercial units and 39no. two and three bedroomed apartments with associated parking and amenity space. The site is an island site of brownfield land within the Ardwick area of Manchester, forming part of the central manchester regeneration area. It is situated at the junction of Stockport Road (A6) and Hyde Road (A57), opposite the Grade II listed Apollo Theatre. The site is a major gateway to Manchester City Centre from the south and east. The area is also characterised by large factories and historic mills to the north as well as the residential housing in the Brunswick PFI area to the immediate south.
The new building has been divided into two distinct elements which are connected by the continuous base of polished concrete at ground floor level. The main facades to Stockport Road and Brunswick Street are treated as the primary elevations. These predominantly brick elevations have a distinct bottom, middle and top, drawing inspiration from the proportions of both the Apollo Theatre and nearby mill buildings. The facade to Polygon Street is conceived as a subservient block, clad in a grey fibre cement, which steps down to the domestic scale context to the southern boundary.
The layout of the development responds to the desire to create active frontages to all three streetscapes with the ground floor containing two storey commercial units. Inside the development the communal courtyard garden at first floor level is raised above the secure ground floor car parking, refuse/recycling store and cycle store. Entered via a deck access in the courtyard, apartments have views inwards to the shared garden and outwards to the city and comprise single storey as well as duplex and triplex arrangements. Materials reflect the local style, character and detail of older period properties in the area. Red brick and concrete lintel details draw inspiration from the local industrial vernacular, as does the change in material and colour used to denote the entrance and courtyard. Fibre cement cladding presents a robust yet refined face that complements the brickwork. The use of high quality materials along with the carefully considered design of these contemporary new dwellings ensures they respond to and enhance the character of the local area.