The Silk Road residential development is located in Ancoats, an important landmark in the history of the Industrial Revolution and contains the highest density of Grade II and II* Listed mill Buildings in Manchester. The city of Manchester sets out a vision for the city expansion with large scale mixed-use developments to improve quality of life and drive a change in its boundaries, including Ancoats area.
The building fills the site to the perimeter and creates a strong building footprint with strong corners, continuing the historical grid pattern of the area. The height of the Silk Road building, or the height as perceived from the street, has been carefully set to compliment and complete the existing streetscape, characterized by a juxtaposition of different heights and volumes.
The building’s plinth will create street activation by incorporating entrances and terraces to the commercial spaces on the ground floor. The massing from the ground floor has been cut out to allow for 3 storeys of commercial space that addresses the street. A double height lobby pronounces the commercial and residential entrance, creating a visual connection from Silk Street to Primrose Street, breaking up the length of the massing and activating the street.
The Silk Road development has taken into consideration the character and materiality of the area and treated its historic past with respect. The design reflects the prevailing character of the Ancoats: historical usage of red brick, elegantly proportioned facades, unified with repetitive window arrangements born out of a functional approach to their design and construction. The facades are softened using handmade brick, stone dressings, relief, and depth.