SLA Appointed Landscape Masterplanner for new £1.7bn innovation district – ID Manchester
We are happy to announce that SLA has been chosen as the Public Realm Masterplanner and Landscape Architect for a new city centre innovation district, ID Manchester, which sets out to transform the area into a new green and bustling mixed-use neighborhood, founded on industrial heritage.
The project is a joint venture between the University of Manchester and Bruntwood SciTech, UK’s leading property developers. For SLA and the wider design team, the task has been to re-imagine and transform what was a purpose-built academic campus into a welcoming and accessible green and vibrant new neighborhood offering a wide mix of cultural places and public spaces in addition to the offices and workspaces that will provide opportunities for thousands of jobs. Honoring the heritage of Manchester in this transformation has been key when developing the masterplan:
“I clearly remember my first experience of Manchester. Red brick buildings and arches, canals, food, cool neighborhoods, and a history dating back hundreds of years. Manchester is so authentic that after visiting, it never leaves your soul - it’s exactly that soul we are embedding in the new masterplan identity. Through the preservation of select urban spaces and buildings, and increased connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood assets, the masterplan aims to embrace Manchester’s unique spirit and identity”— Rasmus Astrup, Design Director and Partner in SLA.
ID Manchester is one of Manchester’s largest and strategically important redevelopment opportunities aiming to bring significant economic, social, and environmental benefits to the city:
“Real innovation creates big changes, not only impacting the current time but also future generations, creating and ensuring a healthy and sustainable quality of life for generations to come. At ID Manchester, we are tackling one of the biggest global challenges of our time by thinking beyond the site boundary and addressing the biodiversity crisis as a key focus. We will contribute radically by making a living landscape that supports and creates places for life – all life!”— Rasmus Astrup
The vision for the area is bold and ambitious, aiming to build a diverse and inclusive community through new development and creative repurposing of existing buildings and spaces. As the Public Realm Masterplanner and Landscape Architect, SLA set out to preserve as much existing city nature as possible and introduce new high-quality green spaces to complement the site’s heritage. The objective is to unfold the untapped potential of the site and create a hotspot for biodiversity increasing the quality of life for all species:
“Imagine passing through ID Manchester on your way to Piccadilly Station. Not just because it’s the shortest way, but because it’s designed for active mobility. You safely and efficiently pass old and new buildings that showcase and exhibit innovative technology and art. You stop for a coffee on the sunny corner and buy a sandwich for the train at the farmers market on the civic square. You then stroll along the railway arches where all the young entrepreneurs are busy, and then right under you, not visible, all the trucks are delivering groceries. You can’t hear them, only bird song, so many birds singing and people chatting under tree canopies”, says Rasmus Astrup.
ID Manchester’s illustrative masterplan is designed in close collaboration with Allies and Morrison, Stanhope, Deloitte, ARUP, Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, Useful Projects, and Ekosgen and Arcadis. It’s the fourth major UK public realm masterplan won by SLA, who is also the Public Realm and Landscape Masterplanner for the Silvertown Royal Docks in East London, the One Euston project in Camden, as well as the Landscape and Public Realm Designer for the Earls Court Development in Kensington & Chelsea.
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