North Campus Aerial

North Campus consultation extended as buildings’ future in doubt

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The public has been given a few more weeks to submit views on proposals for the future of the 30-acre North Campus in Manchester, which the council intends to redevelop once the University of Manchester relocates its engineering department to Oxford Road.

The strategic regeneration framework for the site has been put together by Bennetts Associates Architects on behalf of Manchester City Council. The public consultation for the plans was due to close on 14 February, but has been extended to 8 March.

The campus is the former home of the University of Manchester’s Institute of Science & Technology, known as UMIST, which opened in the 1960s. Many buildings on the site were vacated when UMIST merged with the Victoria University of Manchester in 2003. Once construction is complete on the new Manchester Engineering Development Campus on Oxford Road, on the North Campus will become surplus to the university’s requirements.

North Campus Drawing

According to the draft framework, the site could be used to create “a new hub for technology, learning, research and development”, including a combination of commercial and community use buildings, between 1,000 and 2,500 new homes; 1.4m sq ft of offices, 130,000 sq ft of retail/restaurant floorspace, and up to 500 hotel rooms.

The proposals have come under fire from organisations such as the Manchester Modernist Society and Twentieth Century Society, as the regeneration puts the future of many of the post-war properties on the site in doubt.

Some of the structures within the North Campus are listed, including the Sackville building, sculptural wall, and the railway viaduct.

Alternative uses for the listed elements are included in the SRF. Sackville could be converted into a hotel, and the wall could be relocated, punched through to create pedestrian access, or incorporated into the base of a new building.

The John Garside Building is expected to be retained, but plans are not yet defined for other properties such as the Barnes Wallis Building, the Ferranti Building and the George Begg Building.

To view the SRF in full visit http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/6619/north_campus_srf_january_2017

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Is there any proposal that isn’t coming under fire in Manchester at the moment? Fair enough, the St. Michael’s towers are awful but the opposition to the North Campus is unjustified. A lot of the buildings are poor examples of post-war architecture, are completely run down along with the whole area and serves the city centre no purpose in its current form.

By Tofu

Couldn’t disagree more Tofu. Heritage doesn’t just mean terracotta and brick.

More enlightened authorities and owners recognise the great value that post war buildings lend to a city. Take a look at them without the connotations of run down social housing estates and poor build techniques that dog perceptions of that period and style of architecture with. Many of the buildings on the UMIST campus are incredible and some of the best examples of their type. Renold, Barnes Walls and Staff House are striking, beautiful and clearly designed with a massive amount of care and attention to detail. Manchester City Centre would be a much blander, less distinctive place without these buildings. They must be preserved and reused.

By Bernstein not

But Really Ugly looking building!

By ?

Some of the buildings are better than others.

By Elephant

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