A public exhibition has opened showing designs by seven competing teams of architects and university students for two public realm locations on Oxford Road, Manchester.
See gallery below
The sites are the crossover of the Mancunian Way and Oxford Road and the link between the Contact Theatre and Whitworth Park. The Corridor Manchester public-private partnership says these are key gateway sites but are both performing to less than their full potential.
The professional practices in the shortlisted teams are AEW Architects, Denton Corker Marshall, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, Formroom Architects, Camlins, Camlin Lonsdale Landscape Architects and Landscape Projects.
Over the past few months students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Manchester School of Architecture have been collaborating with professional practices to tackle design challenges for the public realm for the two sites. The teams were asked to consider innovative approaches to creating solutions that can be built in the current economic climate but still feel like radical transformation.
However, there is no guarantee the winning schemes will be delivered. The projects have been designed to complement Transport for Greater Manchester's £43m cross city bus package but funding sources for the public realm competition have not been confirmed.
The competition has now moved to a shortlist of seven designs displayed in the exhibition; three for Whitworth and four for Mancunian Way. Feedback will be gathered during the exhibition, at Manchester Technology Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester.
Sixteen students from different disciplines; geography, landscape architecture and architecture, have collaborated with the professional practices.
Steve Millington, senior lecturer in geography and environmental management at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: "By getting students to think about the experience and provide an evidence base against real-world skills, students engaged in the competition will be better prepared for professional practice after graduation."
Bruntwood, a Corridor Manchester partner is hosting the exhibition at the Manchester Technology Centre on Oxford Road.
Designs submitted to the Competition will be evaluated by a Jury, which will be comprised of specialists in design, architecture, transport, facilities and property.
The Institute of Place Management will be rewarding students from the winning teams with cash prizes.
David George, associate director at AEW Architects, said: "Having recently joined AEW, I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for the Manchester Oxford Road Corridor Competition, which is driven by an influential mix of public and private sector organisations that share a united goal for the Corridor development. As a practice we always believe in giving something back to the local community and to our profession, so we are excited that this competition will enable us to share our knowledge with students from the internationally recognised University of Manchester."
Corridor Manchester partners are Bruntwood, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester City Council, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, Arup, The Cornerhouse and Manchester Science Park.
The exhibition opened on Monday and remains open at the following times:
- Tuesday 29 May, 10am to 6pm
- Wednesday 30 May, 10am to 3pm
- Thursday 31 May, 10am to 3pm
- Friday 1 June, 10am to 3pm
- Wednesday 6 June, 10am to 3pm
- Thursday 7 June, 10am to 3pm
- Friday 8 June, 10am to 3pm
Click image to launch gallery of selection of shortlisted designs