Allies + Morrison is the architect for a new arts building on the site of Mabel Tylecote

MMU diversifies Oxford Road estate in £250m strategy

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Manchester Metropolitan University is progressing designs for the redevelopment of the Mabel Tylecote building on Oxford Road, and is preparing a business case for a distinctive mixed-use scheme on its former Student Union site, as part of a £250m development pipeline.

As part of its estates plan to 2026, MMU has outlined a series of new science, arts and sports facilities along the Oxford Road corridor. First will be the development of an Arts, Media & Culture centre on the site of the old Mabel Tylecote building, which has been scheduled for demolition at the end of this year.

Architect Allies & Morrison has worked up designs for the 96,000 sq ft facility, and a contractor is due to be named in the coming weeks. Subject to planning approval, the building would be complete by 2019, and would include improved public realm.


MMU arts building Oxford Road park view

Improved public realm is included in the Mabel Tylecote plans

Ian McManus, MMU’s director of estates, gave an overview of the university’s pipeline at Place North West’s recent Universities as Regenerators event. Speaking to Place North West, McManus said that MMU was investigating the possibility of a “mixed-use building, with 240 student bedrooms, offices and lecture space” on the site of the former Student Union, which relocated to a Feilden Clegg Bradley-designed building in Upper Cambridge Street in 2014.

MMU has retained FCB to create indicative designs for a mixed-use flat iron tower, and prepare a feasibility study for consideration in the next financial year.

Other proposed developments include a “significant” extension of the science and engineering campus, expanding directly out of the Science Laboratory tower on the corner of Oxford Road and Mancunian Way. MMU is also working up plans for an International Screen School, the second media institute of its type in the UK, and a University Sport Institute, bringing in professional partnerships with Manchester’s major football teams. A central student zone could also be built in the heart of the All Saints campus.

MMU former student union site flat iron

MMU is working up plans for an ‘academic anchor’ building designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley

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All this money to be spent on their Manchester Campus when their Crewe Campus needs it more.

By K

Is this MMU or The University of Manchester ??!

By A

Crewe or Manchester…now let me think….

By L

so is this why Crewe is really under threat?

By A

Isn’t this a photo of the Victoria university of Manchester students union building? not the MMU…..Hope the plans are the right location….

By Margaret

Any chance of reinstating the link through to Stretford Road?

By Connect

It’s obvious that the Crewe MMU operation was always a feel-good folly

By John S

Is this the first building Allies and Morrison have designed in Manchester since their One Piccadilly Gardnes horror show? A design plucked straight from their portfolio, a near facsimilie to an earlier office block in Bridley Place with the orange brick feebly justified as in keeping with Manchester’s industrial architecture despite most commercial buildings being faced in stone? Clearly the design work on that scheme was done from their London office without visiting the city.

This is therefore a chance for redemption for A&M.

By Big Orange Box