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Excelsior Works

Manchester, Mulbury City

OPEN have developed the landscape proposals from concept design stage through to tender stage for a new canal side apartment development in the historic Castlefield area of Manchester.

Located on the site of the former Excelsior printing and book binding works, the proposed development is for 108 luxury apartments, alongside the Bridgewater canal.

OPEN worked alongside Tim Groom Architects and Ramboll Engineers to design the residents communal roof terrace garden, central courtyard space and public realm interface with the existing canal tow path.

Developed from early sketch concept options through to a detailed tender package, the design proposed a variety of environments for the use and enjoyment of residents. These include an external dining space with outdoor pizza oven, intimate seating spaces beneath contemporary planted pergola structures and timber loungers, which are extruded out from the roof terrace deck.

External lighting is key to animating the spaces at night, allowing extended use and transforming the appearance of the terrace, courtyard and canal side entrance, after dark.

The detailed planting design aims to enhance the biodiversity of the site and encourage urban wildlife through the integration of native species along with the installation of insect, bird and bat boxes.