project name

LOCATION Manchester, UK
CLIENT Urban Splash
SIZE 500,000m2

2006 Waterways Renaissance Award

Will Alsop prepared the strategic framework scheme design for New Islington in Ancoats, east of the city centre. This is the third UK millennium village and was undertaken with developer Urban Splash, English Partnerships and Manchester City Council.

The plan envisages a rich mix of house types, distinct architectures, and multiple activities that will promote a sustainable and varied community and an urban development which is  a destination for visitors as well as a home for its residents.

The plan was developed from an extensive community consultation exercise over a six month period. Local residents were taken on site visits to other high density residential developments that support the sustainable infrastructure that the community wants.

On a site between the Rochdale and Ashton canals immediately east of the city centre, the proposals incorporate new waterways linking these historic navigations and give the new quarter an identity of waterside parkland. Hard and soft banking to the water, including narrowboat mooring, creates opportunities for leisure activities and wildlife havens. The main residential buildings radiate spoke-like from the curve of the new canal, though each will have an individual character granted by a dynamic range of architectural firms who will subsequently develop the Will Alsop authored framework scheme.

Provision of local shops, a pub, restaurant and commercial office space will coalesce a community heart for what will be an entirely new and vital district of Manchester.

Completing the framework scheme in autumn 2002, Will Alsop was then commissioned by Urban Splash to design the first of the proposed residential buildings - Chips - by the Ashton Canal at New Islington's Southern periphery.