Mecanoo completes KAMPUS neighbourhood in Manchester

23 December 2021
Credit: Greg Holmes Photography
  • Greg Holmes Photography
  • Greg Holmes Photography
  • Greg Holmes Photography
  • Greg Holmes Photography
  • Greg Holmes Photography
  • Greg Holmes Photography


United Kingdom

Former university site transformed into new city district

Tenderstream member Mecanoo have completed KAMPUS, a new neighbourhood located at the former Manchester Metropolitan University campus in the heart of the city. As a joint venture between social-impact developers Capital&Centric and HBD, the vision for the site is to create a vibrant garden neighbourhood with secret streets, independent food and drink outlets, and a green space for the entire city.

Conceived as a melting pot of buildings and spaces, Mecanoo’s design aims to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the city with respect to the historic quality of Canal Street. Utilising the feaures of the existing built structures – Victorian brick canal-side warehouses and a concrete tower built in 1964 – presented the opportunity to develop at the city block scale, creating new connections and a new destination. 

Variations in height express the individual building blocks, with alternating positions of accentuated apertures in the facade work serving to reduce the scale of the brick mass. The buildings are horizontally divided into three distinct elements: a podium with dark profiled metal cladding, a mid-section with rough textured red brickwork, and a roofscape characterised by Dutch houses, also clad in profiled metal.

The podium anchors the new build and tower elements in a consistent base while creating a defined edge to the street. A transparent plinth will provide views into a variety of independent bars, cafes, shops and restaurants that are intended to breathe life into the scheme and create a unique sense of place. The newly landscaped entrances provide access to KAMPUS and the spaces between the buildings invite people into the heart of the scheme; a unique ‘secret garden’ that forms a backdrop for afternoon and early evening social events. 

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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