University plans Oxford Road park

The University of Manchester has unveiled designs for a 4.5-acre park at its campus on Oxford Road, with the western end of Brunswick Street closed to cars and landscaped to become Brunswick Park.

The park would be the largest green space on the campus, and the proposals include tree planting, wildflower planting, seating areas, pedestrian and cycle paths.

Planit-IE has been appointed landscape architect, while WYG is providing civil, structural and highways advice. Appleyard & Trew is the cost consultant.

Closing part of Brunswick Street to traffic was planned as part of the Cross City bus corridor works to Oxford Road.

The street, which is lined on both sides by University buildings, will remain a public pedestrian and cycle route with improved pathways, providing a better connection between Oxford Road and Upper Brook Street and forming an important gateway to the campus.

The park would create a central space for large-scale campus events such as graduation and Welcome Week.

Consultation has taken place with Manchester City Council and the Brunswick ward whilst drawing up the proposals.  Further community based consultation will be taking place in the near future.

Diana Hampson, director of estates and facilities at the University, said: “The University is transforming the campus through its £1bn campus masterplan and that includes a commitment to environmental sustainability by improving our green spaces and public realm. These proposals form a centrepiece of our vision and will create a heart of the University campus for staff, students, visitors and the local community to enjoy.”

Work on the Brunswick Park scheme is expected to start later this year, subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents.

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Excellent, the campus will really benefit from this. Good stuff.

By dreamer

The proposals for the new Brunswick Park look great. A much needed green space. The Noma project shows us how new squares and gardens can be created in quite a small area. The city centre could be transformed if more emphasis was placed on public realm, creating both new squares and small gardens.

By Paul Brown

Huzzah, some more much needed green breathing space along the Oxford Rd corridor

By MancLass

Shame they can’t do same at Piccadilly landfill

By Elephant

Whilst in wholehearted agreement, particularly on the need for green space rather than glitzy excessive play of the Hardscape Paving catalogue ( Sadler’s Yard / NOMA – which incidentally is not used much yet) the All Saints Park at MMU that was re designed in 1995- 1997, was done successfully in house by one of the Senior Landscape Architecture Tutor’s whose presence on the site in the old Loxford Studios ensured a long term daily understanding of the space as one of it’s primary users.. This method for example understood the principal desire lines and usage of the space and formulated a hierarchy of sub spaces and pathways around these. Knowing also the real financial cost of green space and the future maintenance that is required also needs designing in very early on. The All Saints Space may not be ‘ exciting’ as so much public landscape architecture/ urban design seems to sell itself as these days, but it has the quieter and stronger power of attraction, and is therefore, well used. It seems a shame that the talent pool of tutors and students on the various associated courses at the Manchester School of Architecture could not be the best placed people to undertake this.

By Anonymous

The Victorians had no issues providing beautiful parks.Why are we so rubbish today at it.Less is more.A nice fountain a few forms and nice gardens is all we need Not silly sculptures and expressive art.Heaton park and Fletcher Moss are beautiful because they are simple.In this country flowers do not need much tending.

By Elephant

An excellent contribution Anonymous. I hope the same rigour and thought is put into the overhaul of Piccadilly Gardens.

By PNW reader

If the architects have any knowledge of Manchester’s weather, they’ll create partially enclosed walkways (cloisters)

By Martin Yuille

I think ‘Anonymous’ is long-time poster Cassandra.

By Jeff Suster

I couldn’t possibly comment. Suffice to say, I am in general accord with the statement.

By Cassandra

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