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Sky Gardens For Castlefield Development

Developers De Trafford to add 157 apartments to the Roof Gardens on Ellesmere Street

Written by . Published on September 23rd 2014.

Sky Gardens For Castlefield Development

DE TRAFFORD Estates, the company behind the Roof Gardens at Chester Road and Ellesmere (next to the Church of St George), has put in plans for a second scheme on a site next door.

“The heart of the development is a new civic square, overlooked by cafés, restaurants, ground floor commercial space open off Chester Road, creating active street frontages."

The new plans seem to be part of a grander ambition by the Alderley Edge-based company to transform this part of town with cleverly designed new homes, a new public square and new retail and commercial space.

Roof GardensRoof Gardens

Sky Gardens Roof TerraceSky Gardens Roof Terrace

Sky Gardens would have 157 apartments in blocks ranging from twelve storeys down to eight with a communal roof garden, barbecues, sun terraces and picnic areas. Designs even feature wildflower gardens and bee hives - which we're sure residents will be pleased with.

Designed by Castlefield-based Ollier Smurthwaite, all of the apartments (even the one beds) will be duplexes or triplexes allowing the circulation corridors to be every other floor which not only gives double-height living space but dramatically reduces costs.

A similar principal was demonstrated by Le Corbusier in his ultra-efficient classic piece of architecture, Unite D’Habitation in Marseille, where the corridors are again on alternate floors but with interlocking units spanning the width of the building giving the double height space and also dual aspect.

Unite D'habitation cross-sectionUnite D'habitation cross-section

Smurthwaite’s interiors look interesting too, off site timber construction dropped into a concrete frame with the suspended bedrooms shielded from the living space by folding wooden doors.

There will be a mix of one/two bed duplexes and three/four bedroom triplexes, with either roof terraces or balconies. The building will also have a communal residents’ lounge which will probably be a lot more interesting than those words make it sound.

According to De Trafford: “The heart of the development is a new civic square, overlooked by cafés, restaurants, ground floor commercial space open off Chester Road, creating active street frontages.

"We are proposing to create a series of entrepreneurs’ studios for start-ups and small businesses encouraging a creative community central to the project.”

Sky Gardens interiorSky Gardens - Interior

From the CGIs it looks great (as CGIs often do), a robust exterior with some interesting interiors and lots of private and public space.

Consultation is about to start with the plans likely to go to committee before the end of the year.

In the meantime, De Trafford say that work WILL start on the Roof Gardens in the New Year, which is just as well as they say the majority of units are reserved.

Perhaps it should be a condition of planning that they have to at least start there before Sky gets the nod.

Follow @jillburdett on twitter.


The application is not yet live so there's no link to all the planning documents.

Sky Gardens - InteriorSky Gardens - Interior

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2014.

Mancon, why didn't you revamp this article from September last year? www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/…/Castlefield-Houses-Not-Flats-Due-To-Arrive…

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2014.

yes more roof gardens please!!!!!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 25th 2014.

Agree, gorgeous roof gardens. Need one at Origin wasteland on Whitworth Street.

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2014.

@above That would be more of a garden, seeing as there's no roof there.

SamSeptember 27th 2014.

Ha! You know what I mean! I'd rather that than a stale Ian Simpson demented IceCube design with zero public/community space

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2014.

Wern't De Trafford supposed to start work over a year ago at their Roof Gardens site ? Still not put a spade in the ground. You'd think they would focus on getting that built rather than this.

AnonymousNovember 14th 2014.

This is very nice but there are far too few of these being built in the city centre and too many faceless tower blocks. Someone needs to bite the bullet and take a swathe of wasteland(East Manchester has plenty of derelict land) and build a fantastic garden city. The one thing that lets this city down is the lack of nice houses in the centre. When are developers going to realise that the British do not like flats beyond their student days and their twenties.

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