Circle Square applications detail 36-storey tower and offices

Planning applications have now been submitted for all phases of Bruntwood and Select Property Group’s £750m Circle Square project on Manchester’s Oxford Road.

Bruntwood and Select announced a masterplan and phasing programme for the 2.5m sq ft project in September, following the acquisition of the six-acre site by Bruntwood from Realty Estates in April 2015.

The 617,848 sq ft of residential space, which spans four buildings, will be operated under Select’s Affinity Living brand and the 390,000 sq ft of commercial space will be delivered by Bruntwood.

The offices are due to be targeted at technology companies, which would complement the existing dominance of health, science and tech occupiers along Oxford Road, including within Bruntwood’s Citylabs at the former Royal Eye Hospital.

The ground floors of both the residential and commercial spaces will include 82,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Planning permission was granted in January for the first phase of Circle Square, for 716 serviced apartments to be managed under Select’s Vita Student brand. The buildings were designed by 5plus Architects and are 13-storeys and 17-storeys respectively.

The latest applications total 680 apartments, including a block reaching up to 36 storeys, two office towers of 18- and 14-storeys, and a 10-storey car park with more than 1,000 spaces.

Central to the site will be two collaborative spaces designed to encourage a blend of people and businesses to come together. ‘The Green’ and a 20,000 sq ft pavilion will provide additional events space for the city, offering opportunities for staged and pop-up events.

The project team includes architect 5Plus, joint masterplanners Planit-IE and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, structural engineer Curtins, engineer Cundalls and cost consultant Appleyard & Trew. Office agents are Savills, CBRE and Knight Frank.

The final phase is scheduled for completion in 2025.

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Wow, this is even denser than I had realised. Far cry from the idea of this becoming a public park.

Shame really.

By Gregg

Also, these people need nobbing for calling it “Circle Square”.

By Dennis Nails

Gregg – There is public landscaping space in the centre of the development, and it looks to be quite generous.

Expecting a site as prominent as this to be given over entirely to a public park isn’t realistic unfortunately

By PJH2015

So elegant – tea chests as well as cereal packets! Have the architects no imagination? Taller, slimmer, better-spaced buildings would give wider streets and more sunlight. Have they never seen the Chrysler Building or the work of Mies van der Rohe or Philip Johnson? It’s a scandal that the City Planning Department nods this mediocrity through.

By Tony Heyes

Why isn’t it realistic? There is a widely acknowledge shortage of open space in central Manchester and this could have been ideal for that.

There are far more prominent sites in the UK and around the world that are “given over” to a public park. The site area is about 24,000 sq ft, of which 2,000 sq ft is the event space – around 8%. While not stingy, hardly “generous” either.

By Gregg

Don’t understand the moaning. This has got to be one of the best proposals to come forward in many a year. Quality architecture (apart from the student blocks) quality master planning and quality open space, in fact almost as much open space than Spinningfields, NOMA and First Street put together! Let’s hope it’s brought forward promptly and the design aspirations are carried through to delivery.

One more point. It’s good to see a consistent aesthetic being pursued for a change rather than the usual cacophony of styles and cladding solutions. This could achieve that rarest of qualities: elegance.

By Anon

This blends in well with the Refuge building up the road,as it is similar colours. It is certainly better than the BBC building which was there before.

By Elephant

That small central courtyard surrounded by high rises is going to get LOADS of sun.

By Gregg

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