Tweaks made to Student Castle tower plans

The student accommodation specialist has made alterations to its proposed 55-storey tower, to be built on the site of a multi-storey car park on Hulme Street.

Glenn Howells Architects is the scheme’s designer, with Deloitte instructed as planning adviser. The project was revealed and submitted for planning in September 2018, but is yet to go to planning committee.

At 165m tall, the development is to house more than 850 students, with the September application detailing around 6,000 sq ft of communal and ancillary spaces for student use, along with an 8,000 sq ft co-working space for SMEs, and a common area on the top floor.

Deloitte’s covering letter to the council outlines the main changes to the application as:

  • An amended unit layout resulting in an increase in the average studio size: 99% of studios will now be more than 185 sq ft
  • A 16% increase in amenity floor areas, increasing from 14,267 sq ft to 16,979 sq ft
  • Three additional studios, taking the scheme to 852 bedspaces.
  • A revised cycle parking strategy that results in a minor increase to cycle spaces and more bikes for free use by student residents
  • A revised core location for the scheme’s co-working space

Deloitte said: “These improvements have resulted from a detailed design review, which has increased the size of the basement for plant and achieved greater floorspace efficiencies above ground.”

Unite Student Castle CGI

Although the external appearance of the building will be largely unaltered, there will be some minor changes, such as the relocation of the entrance for the co-working space, following the changes to layout. The external massing of the building is unchanged.

Deloite added: “Overall, the proposed amendments will have a positive impact on the proposed development, as they will increase social amenity space and make it more accessible by being more widely spread through the building.”

It also said the refreshed co-working layout would make that space more attractive to start-ups, and said that the free bicycle provision would encourage residents to use sustainable transport and pursue an active lifestyle.

The amount of free bikes is a dramatic increase: from 60 Student Castle bikes out of 258 cycle spaces; the scheme now includes 234 secure cycle lockers containing folding bikes, representing 89% of the 262 cycle spaces now included. Bikes will be booked through reception and maintained by Student Castle. Deloitte added that the amount of living space per student, benchmarked against comparable schemes recently approved in Manchester, is above average.

There are alos changes to the part of the car park that will remain in situ along with the tower. The application outlines partial reconfiguration of the car park, including temporary access off Hulme Street, construction of five-storey external ramps, closure of vehicular access to top level and re-cladding of the retained facade.

Prior to this scheme, Student Castle was best known in the city for its 37-storey building at nearby 1 Great Marlborough Street, completed in 2013 and then sold on to Liberty Living two years later.

Your Comments

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Are they building a chimney?

By Sweep

ITS JENGA, Can’t wait for mouse trap in Picadilly Gardens next


I really like the look of this. Love the brick effect.

By Superhans

Who needs a window when you can have an arrow slit. Natural vent solution too. Nice. Definitely doesn’t look VE’d.

By Alan Partridge

So the space for ‘actual’ bicycles has dramatically reduced overall then? Replaced instead by an untried rental scheme by a private developer. Great idea, Manchester’s last private cycle rental scheme went really well…

By Chris Froome

Love the scheme, good change to cycling strategy too

By York Street

I’m sure at some point they said: Let’s make another un-leavable tower for profit…Why not?!? it’s in Manchester so let’s use some brick to make it ‘vernacular’…People will not even notice!

By Frodo Baggins

I’ve never liked windows either to be fair…

By John

ugly red brick seems to be coming the norm, it doesn’t work for high rise

By Manc

Wait….. you cannot be serious!!!!! You mean they are actually going to build this??? This is possibly the worst building I have ever seen, like…ever!!
Why would anyone want to live in this?

By John McEnroe

I’m not a fan, it’s rather ugly.

By Anonymous

I can’t make my mind up on this one. The height is impressive but the colour looks like part of the Bristol stool chart.

By Elephant

Why do we only see it from one angle? What does it look like from other perspectives? That’s the problem with the previous Student Castle tower, looks great from Oxford St but hideous from every other angle.

By Myopia

not sure my mental health as a student would be good on the 55th floor with an arrow slit to peer through …

By Taxed

I think this will look pretty good once it’s built.

By Dingaling

I really like this design.

By Lenny1968

Ever notice how imperial units are always used for spin “99% of studios will now be more than 185 sq ft”. Or in modern measurements, you know the system we went over to from imperial several decades ago, slightly over 17m2. Now we know why the windows are arrow slits, the room is only wide enough for a post-box, tipped on its end.

By D

Stop building big brick chimney skyscrapers. Doesn’t work.

By Anon

I thought Manchester was trying to loosen its image from the industrial age and shake off that old cotton mill town look , lol kip of that

By Anonymous

Manchester needs to respect and consolidate its industrial character – in the right context. This is what the city is known for around the world, it’s part of our identity and we should be proud of it. You don’t hear people in Hamburg saying they should obliterate their brick warehousing, it’s only in this country where this sort of shame and snobbery exists.

And Little Ireland is absolutely the right place for a building like this, much more appropriate than hideous cheap yellow panel car parks, cheap blue plastic clad student towers and white brick prison-like apartment blocks, all of which, let’s face it, could be in any town anywhere in the world. Of course Manchester was a globally important commercial centre too and our banks, exchanges and warehouses tell that part of our history too but our industrial history is equally as significant so buildings that are consistent with that vernacular should be encouraged.

By Mancunian

Hey Mancunian, have you got your name down for the penthouse, I’ve heard it’s 6’x7’ with 3 arrow slits and a painting of Fred Dibnah hanging above the two bar electric fire.

By Waffle merchant

I find the reference to Little Ireland in a previous post rather ironic as it was an area of particularly poor slum housing in the mid nineteenth century. Maybe Mancunian is correct when he states this is the perfect area for this building?

By West is Best

This looks beautiful and sleek. The brick facade blends in very nicely with the Victorian buildings across the road & the Corner House building next to it. To @Sweep, it looks nothing like a chimney. However, there’s a hideously stunted circular brick residential building of around 16-18 floors in Leeds City Centre though, which looks identical to a Chimney and is awful. At a guess, it’s about 55-60 metres high.

By Bilderburg Attendee

In my humble opinion this is an eyesore. The colour is appalling, the design is uninspiring and the height looks out of place in that render. Sleek and beautiful are certainly not the adjectives that spring to mind when I look at this. But never mind, apparently there is a worse building in another nearby city…..

By Rose tinted


By manc

Will they offer anything to local residents for the disruption?


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