A “Tower of Light” designed by architect Tonkin Liu has been proposed as the eye-catching centrepiece of a proposed energy system for Manchester’s civic quarter.
Manchester City Council has been working with sustainable energy supplier Vital Energi on plans for the Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network, which is part-funded by the Government’s £320m Heat Network Investment Project, and is intended to provide a number of key buildings with low-carbon, efficient and reliable energy. A total of £2.87m was secured to support the project.
The buildings included are Manchester Central, the Town Hall Extension, Heron House, Manchester Art Gallery, Central Library, Midland Hotel and One St Peter’s Square. Turley will be submitting a planning application in January, and yesterday held an exhibition to showcase the project.
The heat and hot water required to run the heating and electricity network would be generated at a 26.7MW-capacity Combined Heat & Power Centre, to be located under the Metrolink arch at the junction of West Mosley Street and Great Bridgewater Street next to Manchester Central.
Engineer Arup has worked with Tonkin Liu on the design of the centre, along with its distinctive tower, which would include dispersion flues “encased within an architectural wrap,” an ultra-lightweight single surface shell-lace structure.
Work could start in spring 2018 and would be expected to take 18 months.
The project will provide a boost for Manchester’s “A Certain Future” climate change action plan, which has been heavily criticised by climate campaigners.