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Caxton Works

Cotton Quay

2018-Present

Cotton Quay is set to bolster Salford's thriving visitor economy and deliver much-needed new homes in a sustainable and accessible location.

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Cotton Quay is set to bolster Salford's thriving visitor economy and deliver much-needed new homes in a sustainable and accessible location.
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Strategy

When Salford Quays was constructed more than 100 years ago, it was one of the largest infrastructure projects ever built in England and provided a new way to bring the ships full of cotton directly into Manchester city centre. Today, the vast majority of the site is used as surface car parking or is not used at all.

Location:
Salford, UK
Client:
Royalton
Frogmore
Role:
Urban Designer, Architect and Landscape Architect
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Drawing on the area’s industrial history, we are leading the vision for a thriving new waterfront neighbourhood, ‘Cotton Quay’.
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Working for clients Royalton and Frogmore, and in collaboration with two other architectural practices, the proposals consist of almost 1,500 homes, two hotels, bars and restaurants, a multi-storey carpark with a rooftop playground, and open-air ‘harbour baths’.

With plenty of leisure facilities, an active and pleasant waterfront, and views in all directions, Cotton Quay is set to bolster the area’s thriving visitor economy and deliver much-needed new homes in a sustainable and accessible location. It will become a place where residents, guests and visitors will enjoy a multitude of waterside experiences, a verdant waterfront landscape and a plethora of views.

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Specificity

In addition to co-ordinating the overarching place framework for Cotton Quay, we are undertaking the detailed design of the multi-storey car park with a climbing centre and rooftop play space, as well as detailed design of the harbour baths. We are also producing outline designs for the residential Barbadense buildings and the Pima towers at the end of Cotton Quay. This cluster of three slim-profile, stepping buildings, with two residential buildings of 48 storeys and 37 storeys each, could provide up to 500 homes as well as a 25-storey hotel with 250 rooms, conference facilities, bars and restaurants.

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As the detailed landscape architects for the site, we’re creating the public realm in line with the placemaking principles, connecting to the waterfront and enhancing the site through key character areas. We’ve created a south-facing promenade that will run the length of Cotton Quay; animated by shops and restaurants, this pedestrian-dominated space will encourage people to walk from the Metro Station to Central Bay.
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Accessible from the promenade, three water basins will also be transformed. St Louis Basin will host a series of ecological islands planted with colourful vegetation, St Peter Basin will feature a timber boardwalk allowing people up close to the water’s edge, and St Francis Basin will be enlivened by the harbour baths. Behind this, visitors will be able to climb up to a rooftop playground above a multi-storey car park. At the far end of Cotton Quay, next to the trio of landmark buildings, a new square will prove the ideal location to sit and watch the sun set across Central Bay and behind the Imperial War Museum.

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Sustainability

The wellbeing of both residents and visitors is key to the ambition for Cotton Quay. There are good transport links, and with the open-air baths and a host of other community facilities, there is ample access to outdoor space. Our designs maximise southern daylight and waterfront views, and the alignment and steps within the buildings – south to north – allow sunlight to penetrate deep into the scheme. The public realm areas benefit from a particularly sunny aspect.

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The energy strategy for the buildings in the outline scheme is based on heat pumps, with the anticipated utilisation of an ambient loop. This innovative approach to energy relies on water being supplied at a controlled ambient temperature of up to 25ºC, from which buildings can either extract or deposit heat, depending on whether heating or cooling is needed. For the children’s pool which forms part of the harbour baths, we’re considering using a water source heat pump, potentially as a trial in collaboration with Salford University.

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The Barbadense car park and lido, as well as all commercial units, have targeted good thermal performance for any heated areas which fall under Building Regulations Part L. They are proposed to utilise electric heating and cooling, via VRF. The use of a water source heat pump is being considered to heat the children’s pool provided as part of the Lido offering, potentially as a trial in collaboration with Salford University.
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