Set within Manchester's Portugal Street East Masterplan, Victoria house will provide an elegant new landmark building along Great Ancoats Street, and a gateway into the new public square at the heart of the new neighbourhood. The development comprises 177 high quality apartments and associated amenity spaces, including an elevated residents' garden terrace. Ground floor commercial and retail uses will create animation and activity at street level.
Rising to a height of 25 storeys, the design creates a slender, elegant form, which is articulated in plan to edge and contain the new public space. The configuration of the plan allows approximately 65% of the apartments to enjoy dual aspect. The new open-plan homes are designed to maximise a sense of space and natural light. Full height windows will provide extensive, panoramic views across the city, and all apartments will include natural ventilation via openable rapid vent panels integrated within the facade.
The facade design developed from an exploration of the surrounding historical context. Visual and material references were taken from nearby historic mill buildings to create an orthogonal and ordered fenestration pattern contained within an expressed regular brickwork grid, and emphasised through the use of reveals to create modelling and depth. Different brick bonds are used to further emphasise the planes within the facade, and further layering is provided by the use of anodised aluminium perforated ventilation panels, the perforation patterns of which are generated from other brick bond patterns typical in the area.
A subtle light buff colour was chosen for the brickwork to provide visual lightness to the form when viewed from distance, and to create a visual contrast to the existing red brick of contextual historic buildings, to ensure their importance and value is not diminished.