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£200m Project For University On Upper Brook Street

Mecannoo gain another contract in the city

Written by . Published on May 29th 2014.

£200m Project For University On Upper Brook Street

MECANOO, the Dutch based firm delivering HOME, the City’s new arts centre, has been named masterplanner of Manchester University’s new Engineering Campus. Mecanoo appear to be the new architectural darlings of public money projects in Manchester.

“Most of it will be new build, but let’s wait and see. We need to create a pleasant atmosphere; a learning environment to provide moments of inspiration.”

The £200m project will see all the engineering faculties come together on a site bounded by Upper Brook Street, Booth Street, Oxford Road and Grosvenor Street and will be the largest single capital works investment ever undertaken by the university.

The development will bring some new build but also the refurbishment of existing buildings, including the Grade II listed Oddfellows Hall (main picture).

Mecanoo’s creative director, Francine Houben, said the Engineering Campus project would be run from the firm’s headquarters in Delft with support from its satellite office in Manchester on Portland Street.

 The practice, which recently completed Birmingham’s new £163m library , named RIBA West Midland’s Building of the Year, is also working in Oldham on the Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre.

As to what the new University buildings will look like Ms Houben told the Architect’s Journal: “Most of it will be new build, but let’s wait and see. We need to create a pleasant atmosphere; a learning environment to provide moments of inspiration.”

She added: “We look forward to working with The University of Manchester to develop a facility that promotes modern, world leading teaching, learning and research. Planning will focus on creating a gateway between the city centre of Manchester and the University campus and increasing the accessibility of the campus for the local community.”

Mecanoo will be supported by a team including Penoyre & Prasad, AECOM, Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture and Buro Happold; Arup have been appointed as civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers. Construction is expected to start in 2015 and due for completion in 2019.

It’s all part of a bigger £1bn investment by the University to create new teaching and research facilities, improve student facilities and revitalise the public realm with an ambition to make the institution one of the top 25 research universities in the world by 2020. 

The area up for re-invention


The area up for re-invention

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Peter CoppingMay 31st 2014.

I assume the swimming pool will go.. But you don't mention the other implications of this ... the move from The UMIST site on London Road. How much of that will move over?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGJune 2nd 2014.

Spence, the pool isn't within the outline above, so I hope is safe!

Lynn CullimoreJune 2nd 2014.

I work on the old UMIST site and we've been told that all University-related departments and facilities from the north campus will be moving to the new MECD site. Nobody knows what's going to happen to the Sackville Street building - or at least if they do they're not telling! I've asked several people so far and not got an answer out of anyone. The swimming pool will remain as far as we know, and Oddfellows is a listed building so they can't get rid of that either.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomJune 2nd 2014.

All the funky 1960s buildings are growing on me as well. We need to find a good use for the entire campus that enhances the city and promotes growth in the city...science park, high tech industry?

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