Axis Building Drone Feb 2018 2 Preview

GALLERY I Images released as Axis reaches landmark

To mark the first year of work on the project, a video and a series of new images showing construction of the Axis Tower in Manchester have been released by contractor Russells Construction, developer Property Alliance Group and architect 5Plus.

The timelapse and aerial drone photography show a number of key building elements now in place at the site in Whitworth Street, including some of the main architectural features which will be evident when the 29-storey apartment block is complete.

The 2,200 angled glazed panels that will form the building envelope are starting to be installed. Other elements visible from street level include the external raking columns and the foyer’s exposed cruciform walls.

The raking columns are the structures which allow the building to increase its footprint from the 3,200 sq ft wedge on the bank of the Rochdale Canal, to the 5,380 sq ft of each upper floor by transferring the load down to the foundations.  The internal structural concrete columns are also in place and will be exposed as a design feature of the reception area.

Construction director John Millward of Russells Construction, said: “Installation of the glazed panels is a major milestone in the construction of this remarkable building. The finished aesthetic is starting to take shape and it will start to become the landmark we knew it would be, as the building continues to rise.

“The external raking columns and internal cruciform walls are major structural elements of the tower which will also form dramatic architectural features of the finished building. Both will remain exposed in their true form and will be the first thing visitors see on their arrival.

“The internal exposed concrete elements will be visible from the outside through the fully glazed curtain walling, expressing the structure and referencing the columns outside. It’ll look fantastic and will be a real tribute to the work the team has managed and co-ordinated.”

The building’s main concrete core, housing lift shafts and staircases, is over half way up and is now a visible presence at the southern gateway to the city. The core has reached the 18th storey and floor slabs are up to the 14th. The tower crane was ‘jumped’ to the 21st floor at 72m over the Christmas break and will be moved again to 110m in April to allow for the upper floors to be completed.

The safety screen has also been installed to protect both workers and the surrounding streets as the building continues to rise.

Towards the end of the project, the temporary deck across the canal will be removed and a new pedestrian footbridge will be installed, taking visitors from Whitworth Street straight into the reception area.

Axis will house 172 apartments and off-plan sales are already underway by developer Property Alliance Group.

Dylan Williams, development director at Alliance said: “It’s fantastic to see Axis taking shape and construction progressing so smoothly.  As part of the structure is now visible, the complexity of this build is clear for all to see with the tower rising on a small, triangular site.

“Axis has attracted a huge amount of interest since it was launched. More than 75% of the apartments have been sold and exchanged, and we expect the remainder to sell during construction.”

Engineering support was provided by WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Click any image to launch gallery


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This is looking like it could be the worst new building in Manchester. That cladding is shocking, and the window details looking up Whitworth Street are horrific.

By Worried

Why is it taking so long to build this? This seems to have been in the news for years.

By Elephant

This is fantastic. Sure there are other much taller towers going up at the moment but this, for me, is the most exciting building under construction at the moment.

By Raj

This cladding is going to divide a few options for sure. Personally, i hate it.

By Unsure

Cladding is going to look amazing, will truly be a landmark building. And fair play the site is extremely tight.

By Steve1

great addition, love the cladding.

By HolyDiver

An interesting concrete structure for sure, with those downstand beams and the splayed columns at ground level providing an architectural identity even before the frame has finished. Concrete quality looks very good. I think it teeters very elegantly at the road junction; with its slender side-profile projecting a hint of coyness, while at the same time presenting a ramrod stature from that fantastic concrete frame.

Hope it has as good a quality envelope.

I like it so far; it’s exactly what Manchester’s good at. Let’s be proud, thankful and pray for the cladding.

By Mike Rainer

Striking cladding and a welcome addition to this part of Manchester. Finally something exciting instead of another grey rectangle on the horizon…..

By MCRMatt

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