First Street co living Downing p Influential

SimpsonHaugh designed the First Street project for Downing. Credit: via Influential

KKA lands interiors contract for £400m First Street co-living

Developer Downing has appointed the Liverpool-based architecture firm to design the interiors of more than 2,200 co-living bedrooms and corresponding amenity spaces.

KKA competed against five other architecture and interior design firms for the job.

Downing’s £400m First Street features a three-block cluster of apartments, alongside a 45-storey skyscraper. The development sits on Plot 10 of the First Street masterplan in Manchester.

In addition to the 2,224 co-living bedrooms, the development includes around 17,000 sq ft of commercial, leisure and retail space. A public park and garden complete the scheme.

The homes themselves range from studios to five-bedroom apartments and are available at a mix of price points, according to Downing.

Architect SimpsonHaugh designed the towers for Downing. Optimised Environments is the landscape consultant on the scheme. The project is due to complete in 2024.

First Street co living Downing p Influential

The project includes a public park and 17,000 sq ft of commercial and retail space. Credit: via Influential

KKA associate interior designer Nicola Ball said her team was “tremendously pleased” to work on the project, which she described as the firm’s “largest mixed-use scheme to date”.

Ball continued: “The interiors team at KKA are excited at the prospect of pushing the boundaries of this project to deliver a first-class, inspiring development for the end user.

“Sitting on the site of the historic gasworks, First Street comes with a tremendous amount of heritage and we plan to pay homage to this throughout our designs.”

George Downing Construction, Downing’s construction arm, began enabling works at First Street in January. Construction commenced in March. Planning permission for the project was granted by Manchester City Council in 2020.

Andy Thomas, operations director at Downing, said: “First Street is a really important project for everyone at Downing, but also for everyone in Manchester. We are delighted to be regenerating such an important plot of land in the heart of Manchester’s city centre.

“Our ambitions for the scheme is to create a community-centric neighbourhood for residents to thrive. We believe that having great outdoor space will be at the heart of this, not only for aesthetic purposes but becoming a haven for residents to soak up the outdoors and to meet and socialise with friends and family.”

Next to Downing’s co-living hub, Ask Real Estate and Vita Group have begun drawing up plans for two buildings of offices and student accommodation at First Street’s Plot 10.

Your Comments

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Downing building in a city that welcomes developers, and with no silly height restrictions, co-living included too, funny how it can work in one city but not others.

By Anonymous

Congrats to KKA but as for the project as a whole, I can’t think of another business model I wish would fail more. The idea of student housing for adults is disgusting when much needed ‘real’ homes/apartments are needed. The model is just an ugly long term cash grab exacerbating the transient population in the centre of town. “creating a community-centric neighbourhood”, give me a break, they are just meaningless buzz words for a model like this. If there was any more spin in the statements from the developer, they would be staring in dancing on ice. I fear that if this succeeds similar projects will pop up all over the city.

By Egg

Manchester, the windy city

By Cal

Ah yes, the beginning of the super cities, just another conspiracy theory come true then

By Anonymous

Joyous to be informed of outstanding architectural design and vision for Manchester. When so much banality remains in Britain’s built environment, this venture sets a high bar going forward.

By Jeffrey Morris

Sadly I Agree with other comments, this development will not add anything to the architectural splendour of any city and will create the ghetto of the future.

By Anonymous

It’s obvious that Manchester needs more homes – the only thing I would say is; with every new development like this is the impact of needing more energy , water services etc…. etc.

By Rodders

Well Cal, it’s not quite Chicago yet but it’s getting there!

By Dan Smate

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