Axis Topping Out

VIDEO | Axis tops out

The 29-storey tower, which is being built by Russells on behalf of Property Alliance Group on a 3,200 sq ft plot at Deansgate Locks, has reached its highest point.

Designed by Jon Matthews in association with 5plus Architects, and now being led by Matthews in his new venture, Jon Matthews Architects, the concrete structure and external envelope is complete. The recess for the 10-storey media screen set into the side of the tower has also been created, with installation of the screen nearing completion.

The crane currently installed through the centre of the building is due to come down in the coming weeks. By May, it is planned for the building to be totally watertight to allow for internal fitting out of all apartments.

Axis cantilivers over the Rochdale Canal, and is being built on one of the trickiest sites in Manchester. According to Matthews, “form follows function” when it comes to the design of the building, with the shape of the site dictating the shape of the tower, in turn creating some unusually-sized spaces inside the property. The concrete structure splays out from the base to ‘clasp’ the upper floors, which have larger floorplates than the foundations. A permanent bridge is set to be installed over the canal as the final piece of the build process.

When complete, Axis will house 170 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments and two three-bedroom penthouses. Sales have reached 75%, although the penthouses are yet to be released.

A topping out ceremony held this week saw members of the project team celebrated and thanked as part of the centuries-old builders’ tradition, as well as the burying of a time capsule at the foot of the building.

Dylan Williams, development director at Alliance, said: “Topping out is a significant milestone in the construction of any building and marks the first opportunity for people to really appreciate the true scale and presence of the new building. This is a really complex build and so this moment is also a chance for the team to take stock of what has been achieved and say well done to the guys on the ground. We’re incredibly pleased with the project so far, the skill of the delivery team is evident, and we’re delighted the project is being used to educate and inspire the next generation. There’s still many months’ work left, but it’s already clear what a fantastic statement this building will be when complete.”

Engineering support was provided by WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff. Alliance Investments is managing the sales of the apartments.

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Worst building to go up in Manchester in 10 years.

By Clue

I like it. It is different to the glass rectangles elsewhere in the city.

By Millenial

The length of time it has taken to build this and the result is dire.

By Elephant

Manchester will expect anything, literally anything!
I see a desperate city

By Tina

I actually quite like the shape of the structure and the way it fits into the site, but those diagonal windows and the cladding look dreadful – as with a lot of current buildings, in my view – and I can’t see it ageing well. Not convinced that a ten storey media screen is quite as classy as the developers perhaps think either (I’d assumed that space was for a sliding door for the hoverpod parking), but there you go…

By Dennis Nails

In engineering terms, a very impressive achievement. In aesthetic terms, an interesting experiment, which, for me, confirms the need for tall buildings to be clad mainly in glass or other reflective material. Glass reflects the sky; buildings like this cut the sky out.

By John

Even the timelapse seems to take an eternity! Hurry up so the road junction will work again!

By Raptor

The cladding is dire and i hate to imagine the electronic board going up on the side. sickening!

By A fan of elephants.

We don’t even need more flats, half of them are empty!


Blimey, what a bunch of moaners you lot are below….bore off! It’s unique in it’s design and like John says an interesting experiment, which in my opinion works. Whether you like it or not it’s an iconic building.

By Steve

Didn’t like it on the renders. Absolutely love it now. The vista from Moseley St is propertly spectacular now. Far more impressive then any city other than London could possibly muster.

By Anonymous

PDM – are half of the flats empty? Or have you just made that up?

By same old same old

Agree with John, what makes this non-reflective tower worse is it kills a desire line as you walk across St. Peter’s Square East to West the form of this building is a massive wall

By hh

The shape and engineering on this site is great. Can’t believe they’ve gotten away with this cladding though. One of those buildings that you can’t bare to look at as time goes on.

By Anon

I really like it far more interesting than many new developments in the city, I hope it ages well.

By Lenny1968

I don’t like it at all.

By My thoughts

Swap the cladding for glass and it would be half decent. Also, isn’t that video screen going to keep residents awake?

By Jonny