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Manufacturing

Short stack

By Lisa Rummler

August 2009- The manufacturing roots of Manchester, England, go back to the Industrial Revolution. But as more and more factories have closed their doors over the years, parts of the city have fallen on hard times.

In response to this, English Partnerships, London, decided to take action. Several years ago, the former national regeneration agency for England, which is now part of the Homes and Communities Agency launched the Millennium Communities Programme. The goal of this initiative is to revitalize areas throughout England, thereby creating seven villages "that would deliver a lasting legacy of environmentally innovative and sustainable developments in diverse, challenging locations," according to the program's Web site.

One of those areas is New Islingtonin Manchester, and a cornerstone of the revitalization effort is the Chips residential development.

Urban Splash, a Manchester, England-based property developer, commissioned the building in 2002, which was designed by Will Alsop.

Part of Alsop's Strategic Framework for New Islington, Chips is made up of both living and studio units, as well as commercial space. The building's gross internal area is 16,200 sq. m.

Rule of three
The apartments in Chips are the first ones for sale in the New Islington Millennium Community. This characteristic distinguishes Chips, as does its appearance--according to a press release, Alsop modeled the building after three chips piled on top of one another.

"The building comprises three equal-height, long, thin new build masses [chips] approximately 100 m long by 14 m wide, stacked and staggered upon one another, creating an elevated ground floor and eight levels, comprising 142 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments," according to a press release. "The building is clad in a composite wall, faced with a cladding covered in newspaper print with text that echoes the industrial heritage of the local area."

The building has a concrete frame, and its substructure consists of steel sheet piled walls, which formed a canal wall on one side. Martin Stockley Associates, Manchester, England, provided the structural design.

At 113 m, the middle chip is the longest and consists of three floors, with 22 apartments on each. The top chip is about 80 m long, making it the shortest, and it houses 45 apartments over three floors.

"The project defines a quality of living by combining outstanding design with technological innovation while embracing key concepts of sustainability, integration into the urban landscape and the provision of inspirational and sensational apartment units," according to a press release. FFJ

Sources

  • Alsop Architects
    London
    phone: +44 (0)20 7978 7878
    fax: +44 (0)20 7978 7879
    www.alsoparchitects.com
    e-mail: info@alsoparchitects.com

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