Unite Tower Comparison
The original design, left, and the updated application, right

Unite adds two storeys as student tower construction edges closer

Unite has submitted a fresh planning application for its student accommodation tower on a site formerly home to Manchester’s Sound Control club, including two additional storeys and changes to cladding, as main contractor Bowmer & Kirkland nears a full start on site.

Plans were submitted for the original proposal in July 2017 and granted permission in December 2017, while there were minor material amendments made in the same month, including alterations to the lower ground, ground, and first floors.

The new planning application has increased the number of student beds in the tower from 573 to 603, and have added two more storeys to the tower’s uppermost block, raising the building’s height from 30 storeys to 32.

Designed by SImpsonHaugh, there have also been changes to the tower’s cladding, with the colour of the aluminium panels within the building’s façade changed from grey metallic to anodised bronze. Meanwhile, the building’s glass cut-out areas have been changed from blue and orange to a neutral colour.

The architect said these changes “emphasised the shifted massing language, and visually slimmed the building”.

The site on New Wakefield Street has been cleared ahead of a full programme of works getting underway, which will begin as soon as planning is approved.

The professional team also includes Turley as planner, Curtins as structural engineer, Watermans as building services engineer, and Design Fire Consultants as fire engineer.

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Shame about the orange going. Blended in nicely with the Refuge terracotta.

By Elephant

Nothing about this building blends in nicely with the Refuge.

By Name

Awful development. ‘Anodised bronze’? Christ.

By Millenial

Another example of secure consent then cheapen the design and build quality.
Agree with previous comment the terracotta colour was a good visual link with surroundings.
If the architect wanted to visually slim the building. The deliver an elegant design in the first place.
MCC getting a reputation for poor design thresholds compared to other cities.

By MetroMark

Get consent and change for the worse. Original was miles better.


Both designs looks awful!

By Simon

Unite are rubbish.

Also, what colour is a “neutral colour”??

By Untie

Much nicer design, the previous one looked too fat and stumpy & frankly a bit weird•••this new design blends in comfortably & aesthetically with the Holiday Inn Express and the Student Castle Tower nearby.

By Bilderburg Attendee

OK on its own but the loss of the terracotta colour spoils it!

By Schwyz

This is NOT a nice new building. MCC need to rethink their policy concerning quality inside the city centre especially on buildings this tall. This is not to Simpson’s usual quality.

By Hmmm

New design looks much better, both in terms of materials and proportions.

By Adam