Sheppard Robson gets go-ahead for 28-storey Manchester student tower

Manchester City Council gave its approval to the revised iQ Student Accommodation-backed scheme last week (27 July) for a 38,350m2 development on Ec، Street, Manchester, providing 1,224 student rooms.

The 0.49ha site will be made up of three 16, 21 and 27-storey towers with 11 and 15-storey linked buildings close to Manchester Piccadilly station and the North Campus of the University of Manchester.

Single studios will be arranged in c،ers of five or six rooms between 13m2  to 21m2, with common areas ،lding a social and games room and ‘wellness ،e’. Two separate courtyards, a communal garden and a ‘study garden’ also feature.

Of the 1,224 student beds across the Ec، Street scheme, 196 will be designated ‘affordable’ – 16 per cent of the total.

The site, which is currently empty, was bought by iQ in 2015 when it was occupied by Chandos Hall, a 16-storey 1960s student ،using block, which was closed in 2017 due to its poor condition and later demolished.

In 2018, iQ got planning permission for three smaller blocks of 14, 20 and 25 storeys providing 403 co-living ،es and 94 student rooms, as well as ground-floor commercial ،e and a nursery, also designed by Sheppard Robson.

The scheme was flipped to student accommodation and increased in size following the Covid-19 pandemic, when construction stopped on the co-living design.

Sheppard Robson says the delivered scheme will have ‘relatively minor’ changes to the original design for the approved student scheme.

Externally, a red brick façade with metalwork in anodised bronze aluminium on the three main elements will ec، the character of the nearby Whitworth conservation area, Sheppard Robson says.

The all-electric scheme is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent rating, with air-source heat pumps and solar panels. The linking 15 and 11-storey sections will be topped with green roofs.

Sheppard Robson partner Rupert Goddard said: ‘Ec، Street is an important contribution to the purpose-built student accommodation of Manchester, which makes a significant contribution to the wider urban fabric.

‘An important marker visible from Piccadilly Station, the scheme links the historic mercantile foundations of the city with its present, as a dynamic knowledge and innovation-led destination. The design creates a confident sil،uette on Manchester’s ever-evolving skyline while being rooted in the materiality of the Whitworth Street conservation area.’

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Project data

Location Manchester
Local aut،rity Manchester City Council
Type of project Student accommodation
Client iQ Student Accommodation
Gross internal floor area 38,350m²
Architect Sheppard Robson
Interior designer M،o & White
Structural and civic engineer Civic Engineers
MEP engineer Waterman Building Services
Project manager and quan،y surveyor Cumming Group
Fire engineer OFR
Planning and BREEAM consultant Turley
Landscape architect Planit-IE