Viadux Salboy Ask

Ask Salboy JV prep for start at £300m Viadux

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Domis has started early-stage works at Viadux, the £300m residential and office scheme being brought forward in a joint venture with Ask Real Estate.

Salboy and Ask announced the JV in January, and confirmed Salboy’s construction arm Domis would be building the project.

The site is located on the former Bauer Millet unit off Albion Street, a grade two-listed arch which sits to the rear of the Manchester Central Convention Centre, itself a former train station.

The plot is owned by Ask, which gained planning permission for a 40-storey residential tower and 14-storey office building in July 2017.

A series of documents were submitted by Domis to Manchester City Council on Friday, discharging planning conditions and allowing for a partial start on site.

While construction was due to begin in May, the council allowed the contractor to go on site and begin some drainage works, in order to activate the planning consent which was due to expire in June this year.

The start of minor works was also brought forward due to the site’s proximity to Manchester Central Convention Centre, which under plans announced this weekend is to be converted into a temporary 1,000-patient coronavirus hospital. The facility, known as NHS Nightingale, is due to be operation by mid-April.

The scheme is to be built in phases, with the residential block coming forward first. The project will total 375 apartments.

As part of the documents put to Manchester City Council by Domis, an archaeological report has been submitted by Salford University, to partially discharge a planning condition which stated an archaeological investigation, including trial trenching, needed to take place before a start on site.

Based on a May start date, the scheme was due to complete in February 2024. The long construction programme is due to the complicated nature of the design; the contractor will need to punch through the listed arches to create a podium structure, then build 37 storeys above, as well as working around the Metrolink tram line.

Given the evolving nature of the Covid-19 outbreak, the new start date for main construction works is yet to be confirmed.

Viadux was designed by SimpsonHaugh.

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If 10-12 Whitworth Street and StayCity come off, this will create a massive skyscraper cluster which will be unlike anything else in the UK.

By Cluster

The Convention centre was once a major railway arrival point once the system had outgrown Liverpool Street. Following the removal of the goods yard, to create a stylish cinema and entertainment venue, (and disconnecting the railway offices from the station at the same time), a significant viaduct was removed for the Hilton Hotel. Now we have the rest of the viaduct trashed for development on the site of the former railway tracks. It will take a dedicated researcher to be able to identify the station complex that contained the first rail/road/canal system, the launch site of the UK’s northern launch point for the transporting of cars and passengers to Europe, and the start point of the first Manchester to London sleeper service. I guess thats progress for you.

By ArchitectoGaudi

More tat courtesy of Salboy!

This is a really short sighted move. We could do with Central being a railway station again to relieve the pressure from Picc and Vic!

By Acelius

This looks bloody awful. I wonder what will happen to places stacked full of cheapo glass boxes as people’s choice of city starts to depend less and less on being close to job opportunities. Manchester city centre has been made unattractive by greed. Everyone involved in this scheme should self-reflect.

By Mirror

Beetham tower – ruined.

By Anonymous

this tower looks horrific, I cannot believe they actaully want to get it built. Beetham Tower is still the best modern skyscraper in Manchester and now it will be covered by this monstrosity. Simpson needs to retire, apart from Beetham Tower he did a lot of damage to Manchester’s architecture

By Anonymous

Let’s see where they are in a few months time. Suspect a hole in the ground but not a lot else – and a fairly permanent one at that given the impending downturn.

By Mr State the Obvious

A skyscraper cluster? Who even cares about such things (were these even skyscrapers)?. These buildings will do little to nothing to improve the quality of the townscape in this area and will have precisely zero impact on Manchester’s profile regionally, nationally or internationally. We should not be conducting planning according to a teenage wet dream based around “skyscraper clusters”.

By SSC not

I think this looks pretty smart. People probably complained when the station was built all those years ago, times move on. My only concern is the continues use of excessive glass. Whilst it’s not as shiny, we need to be building with less glass to create more sustainable low energy buildings.

By Derek

@derek – The Co-op Building at Noma is pretty much clad in glass, and is BREEAM outstanding. It’s perfectly possible.

By Red Rose

Red Rose. Maybe it is but Breeam is not exactly a measure of future sustainability. It’s pretty dated, is a box ticking exercise and the fact is, glass is simply not as good. Yes you may get an accreditation, but it’s still not as good as a more solid wall and that’s just a fact.

By Derek