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Sheppard Robson receives planning permission for Manchester student development

Above: CGI of new student residential development - Echo Street, Manchester (Sheppard Robson) Manchester City Council has granted planning consent for Sheppard Robson's designs for Echo Street, a new student residential development that provides 1,224 Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) rooms. Alongside studios and ensuite student clusters, residents will have access to extensive indoor and outdoor amenity spaces, for working, socialising, dining and exercising.

The 38,350 sqm project – located on the edge of the Whitworth Street conservation area, next to the gateway of Piccadilly and the North Campus of the University of Manchester – is characterised by a series of slim vertical blocks. These are stepped to respect and mediate between the smaller scale buildings around Vimto Park to the west of the site, and the more urban context to the east and south.

The three main blocks are made up of red brick, with metalwork in anodised bronze aluminium which echoes the simple, symmetrical arrangements of the conservation area. Generous window openings are arranged in a slender three-storey module, with intermediate panels in a decorative perforated pattern creating a contemporary interpretation of the conservation area’s specific mercantile character. Internally, the large-scale purpose-built building includes studios and clusters, with common areas on the ground floor, including two separate courtyards. Amenity spaces onsite are carefully planned and detailed to ensure the development is welcoming and inclusive, catering for the differing needs of students. The amenity provision will set a new standard for the sector, with a variety of creative and collaborative settings that help to build a supportive sense of home and a connection to the wider city.

Rupert Goddard, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “Echo Street is an important contribution to the PBSA ecosystem of Manchester, which significantly contributes 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 silhouette on Manchester’s ever-evolving skyline while being rooted in the materiality of the Whitworth Street conservation area.” Image below: the Sheppard Robson-designed PBSA scheme at Echo Street (from Virtual Planit)


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