Great Marlborough Street

Great Marlborough Street

Tallest student accommodation in Europe meets 21st century aspiration

The private sector has a growing share of an ever more competitive market. ‘Student Castle’ is a company specialising in student accommodation with a commitment to ‘change the perception of traditional private student accommodation by meeting 21st century student aspiration.’ 1 Great Marlborough Street is its second scheme in the UK.

The 37-storey build could easily have been a crude disfigurement, not just of the immediate location but of the whole city itself, but architects Hodder + Partners have sculpted an elegant solution which is strong and confident and at the same time carefully stated

At ground level there is a street pattern of largely 5-storey 19th century redbrick industrial buildings, many converted to a wild mixture of apartments, clubs and bars.

The base of the building is formed of a six-storey plinth which occupies the full 22 meters depth of the site, and addresses the heights of the railway viaduct and the adjacent buildings to the east in New Wakefield Street.

The majority of the building is placed above the plinth in a narrow structure that occupies less than fifteen metres of the site’s depth, facing east-west, parallel to Great Marlborough Street.

The thin profile that the building presents to the north and the south, and the fact that the mass is presented in a cluster of four towers or slices each rising to a different height, all reduce the building’s potential dominance of its site.

Hodder + Partners have worked hard to give the multiple faces of the building interest and dynamism.

This is achieved partly by deeply profiled curtain walling, using the full capabilities of the Reynaers CW 50 and CW 60 systems, but also by the selective use of bronzefinished panels to relieve the dominant palette of grey.

The most distinctive feature of the building’s external form is the soft pattern of 450mm wide ceramic tiles which clad the extensive unbroken planes on all sides of the building.

The building gained a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ classification, partly due to the extensive use of air-source heat pumps and heat exchange for both cooling and hot water, as well as Reynaers CS 68 high performance threechamber window system for insulation and air-tightness.

Although Manchester’s skyline is already pierced by a variety of smaller towers, 1 Great Marlborough Street marks an important phase in the development of the city, putting a new economy at the top of its agenda.

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Reynaers Aluminium Ltd

Reynaers Aluminium Ltd

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of innovative and sustainable architectural aluminium systems, Reynaers prides itself on delivering high-quality window, door and curtain walling systems for residential and commercial projects.

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