Alumno Cambridge Street 2

Alumno proposes Manchester student scheme

Developer Alumno has submitted plans for a 97-bed capacity student accommodation scheme on the site of the Church Inn, Cambridge Street to Manchester City Council.

The project includes the demolition of existing structures on site, to be replaced by a 12-storey development with rooftop garden including allotment space. Pre-application discussions have taken place with the council and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The site sits two blocks south of the Mancunian Way between the Grosvenor Square/All Saints campus area and Hulme. The pub has been vacant since March 2016.

Alumno specialises in student accommodation and has delivered 6,000 units since its 2006 formation. Carson & Co was set up in 2011, has offices in Glasgow and London and has worked with Alumno before, including schemes in Aberdeen and Norwich.

The developer’s team describe the project as seeking “to create a building which has an elegance and slenderness” with an “honest expression of the building’s interior programme, creates a building which is communicative and visually readable”.

The Cambridge Street streetscape as it stands is by common consent a bland environment, with virtually nothing in the way of ground floor animation, and the proposals do look to add something different to the mix. Carson has worked lcosely with interiors architect Ben Kelly Design on the scheme’s appearance.

The building base is intended to reference a table forming a goalpost open to the street. Above are placed two blades – one forming the accommodation wing facing south and the other a combination of the main vertical and horizontal circulation and studio accommodation.

This second blade to the north is topped by a common room with shared kitchen and dining space opening out onto a student allotment roof terrace. There are 25 studios, while 72 bedspaces are accounted for in two-bedroom dwellings.

The professional team also includes structural engineer Conisbee, services engineer Cundall, heritage advisor Stephen Levrant and GL Hearn as planner.

Alumno Cambridge Street Ground Level

Ground level view of the proposed scheme

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Look at the front of The Church Inn on Streetview. Another classic piece of red brick mancunian vernacular destroyed. More blandchester.

By Destruction

In Birmingham, students get to live in Edgbaston, in Newcastle, they live in Jesmond, in Manchester though, it’s Hulme! Why would they bother? They mustn’t know what Hulme is really like.


PDM clearly didn’t study in Manchester, or they’d know that students mostly live in Fallowfield, which has all the character you could want.

However, I think architectural character is the last thing on most students minds when choosing a place to live.

The students that do live in Hulme, live there because it is affordable, close to the University campuses and close to the City Centre. Common sense really. The kind of common sense that results in Manchester massively outperforming Birmingham and Newcastle at almost everything.


Also PDM, students in Birmingham live in Selly Oak.

By Aaron

Students don’t deserve to live in Didsbury. They have ghettoised most of South Manchester as it is.Decent family homes turned into slums by them and slum landlords.

By Elephant

Manchester needs it’s students, it would be nothing without them.

By Deanna

Bloody students. Get that pub reopened, sharpish! Or am I being too unprofessional?

By James Hayes

Elephant – who are you to say what students “deserve” or otherwise? The problem is caused by profiteering amateur landlords squeezing too many people into generally poor quality accommodation.

The loss of family homes is indeed an issue – one being addressed by these new build private halls.

By Millenial

All I can say is OBJECT to this absolute travesty. PNW: You should publish a picture of the pub to show what a beautiful building is proposed to be demolished. MCC and the developer cannot be allowed to build this scheme.

By Acelius

“The Cambridge Street streetscape as it stands is by common consent a bland environment, with virtually nothing in the way of ground floor animation, and the proposals do look to add something different to the mix.”

Is this PNW’s considered view or is it from Alumno’s press release (no quote marks)?

The first part of that sentence may be true – most of those student blocks already there present pretty grim faces to the street – but I’m not sure that replacing a building which has some genuine character (albeit needing a bit of TLC) with this really adds much different to the area other than the slightly weird typeface chosen for those large yellow numbers.

And as for “a table forming a goalpost open to the street” – why? Absolute Pseuds’ Corner nonsense…

By Dennis Nails

Deanna. I am presuming that you do not live on a litter strewn street in Fallowfield? I used to live in Victoria Park and students ruined my street.

By Elephant

Who has used this pub?

By City veteran