An animated fly-through produced for Place North West shows how the Manchester skyline would look in 2022 if the series of proposed skyscrapers by developers including Allied London, Renaker and Elliot Group is built.
The video uses Google Sketchup to render proposed buildings, taking elevations from the various planning applications to make the buildings look photo-realistic. Sketchup allows the user to build models to millimetre proximity, whilst Google Earth enables these buildings to be plotted on exact sites; the skyscrapers represented in the video build an accurate model of Manchester’s future skyline.
The buildings shown have different completion dates. The first scene in the video shows Renaker’s 44-storey Exchange Court in Greengate, shown to the right, and Elliot Group’s Residence, two towers of 15 and 34 floors, to the left. Exchange Court is currently under construction, completion due in 2019. The Residence is now at groundworks, hopefully completing by 2020. Renaker’s Owen Street towers, set to stretch from 39 to 66 storeys, shown prominently at 0:15mins, are currently under construction and will be complete by 2020. Nearby 27-storey Axis by Property Alliance and Inhabit’s 35-storey tower, both at Deansgate Locks, are also pictured, although the Ask Real Estate scheme behind Manchester Central, currently awaiting planning permission, is not shown. At 1:03mins the 52-storey St John’s Place and shorter St John’s Living towers appear on the righthand side and Trinity Islands cluster, reaching up to 67 storeys, to the left. Allied London is redesigning its biggest St John’s tower but the rest has a completion date of 2022.
There’s a whole raft of proposals not featured in this video, such as Select Property’s Affinity Living scheme at New Bailey, although the same developer’s Circle Square scheme can be seen on the far left at 0:29. Angel Gardens and Far East Consortium’s newly-proposed tower at Angel Meadow Park are also not shown but will have an enormous impact on the skyline at the northern end of the city. Although skyscrapers, generally accepted as anything above 25 storeys, make the biggest impact on the skyline, there are also numerous “mid-rises” between 10 and 25 storeys not shown here which will ‘bulk up’ the skyline, making it much less gappy. There are many midrise schemes across Manchester which probably enters the hundreds nowadays, prominent ones include 2 St Peter’s Square, 125 Deansgate, the rest of Circle Square, Manchester New Square, DeTrafford’s Manchester Gardens scheme on the Chester Road corridor, the various Manchester Life projects at Ancoats and projects in Salford Quays.
On the subject of Salford Quays – that place has its own developing skyline which isn’t quite as large or as tall as central Manchester’s but is still nonetheless impressive with schemes such as Peel’s MediaCityUK Phase 2 delivering about 10 new tall buildings overall, Fortis’s Furness Quay development which proposes a 90m apartment tower amongst other buildings, DeTrafford’s “Wavelength” proposal – as well as X1 MediaCityUK, four 96m towers, and X1 The Gateway, 21 floors.
Considering the standout tower on the current skyline is Beetham Tower at 44 storeys Manchester is set to have an exciting cityscape in just a few years’ time.