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Mayfield

2016-Ongoing

Mayfield's rich and layered history has informed every element of our framework plan for a new 6.5-acre park, approximately 1,500 homes, one million square metres of office space, and a 350-bedroom hotel, as well as retail and leisure facilities.

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Mayfield's rich and layered history has informed every element of our framework plan for a new 6.5-acre park, approximately 1,500 homes, one million square metres of office space, and a 350-bedroom hotel, as well as retail and leisure facilities.
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Strategy

The former Mayfield Station and depot is ready for a complete transformation, and we are breathing new and much-needed life into this 24-acre derelict site. On its way to becoming a thriving mixed-use community in the heart of Manchester, it will reshape and extend the city towards Ardwick, building on the benefits of the Northern Hub rail expansion plans and acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider Piccadilly area.

Location:
Manchester, UK
Client:
The Mayfield Partnership
U+I Group Plc
LCR
Manchester City Council
Transport for Greater Manchester
Role:
Urban Designer, Architect and Landscape Architect
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The Mayfield area within the wider Manchester context and in relation to other existing and emerging neighbourhoods
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We are the urban designers and lead architects for Mayfield, as well as the landscape architects for the new park, and we are supported in our bold and transformative vision by a strong public-private partnership. The scheme is a joint venture between regeneration specialist U+I and The Mayfield Partnership, which is made up of LCR, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

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The site prior to our intervention
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The site prior to our intervention

From the Hoyles Calico printing and dying factory, one of the most famous textile factories in the 1800s, to the Mayfield relief station of the early 1900s, Mayfield has a rich and layered history.

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1924 aerial photo of the Mayfield area illustrating the northern monolithic scale and the south western varied finer grain of development Monolithic Scale Varied finer grain Piccadilly Station London Road.

It’s this industrial landscape which has informed every element of our framework plan for a new 6.5-acre park, approximately 1,500 homes, one million square metres of office space, and a 350-bedroom hotel, as well as retail and leisure facilities.

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Specificity

The former Mayfield Station and depot had lain dormant for over thirty years and had been earmarked for demolition. We recognised its heritage value and successfully made the case – with a compelling narrative and evocative and detailed illustrations – to bring it back to life as a flexible events destination. We see it as an extension of the landscape, and the city-facing station building will provide a welcoming space for exhibitions, conferences and community events.

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View of the Mayfield Depot platform brick wall and former canopy structure
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Mayfield Park will become the first public park to be created in the city for 100 years. The Mayfield Platform, once the railway line, will be opened up as an elevated public space, inspired by the High Line in New York, and the whole park will be imbued with a post-industrial character but propelled by a climate-change-aware approach to placemaking and landscape urbanism.
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A gantry walkway run the full length of the depot, allowing the activities within the building to spill out into the park.
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Where the river comes closest to the northern edge of the park it begins to sculpt an island to the south. This island has a visibly prominent position in the park and appropriately accommodates the main destination play space.

Our first move was to deliver an elevated temporary office space, the Gatehouse, which has become U+I’s site office along with flexible, low-cost workspace for start-up businesses and community groups. Since then, we’ve created a popular market space, now one of the most popular street-food destinations in Manchester, and Vibration Group have reinvented the Depot as a 10,000-capacity venue which has already played host to Manchester Pride Live, Manchester International Festival and major artists including Aphex Twin and Skepta. Eventually these characterful arches will become creative workspace, along with the lobbies for both the new hotel and office buildings above.

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Our elevated temporary office space, which has become U+I’s site office
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Meanwhile market space

Since then, we’ve created a popular market space, now one of the most popular street-food destinations in Manchester, and Vibration Group have reinvented the Depot as a 10,000-capacity venue which has already played host to Manchester Pride Live, Manchester International Festival and major artists including Aphex Twin and Skepta. Eventually these characterful arches will become creative workspace, along with the lobbies for both the new hotel and office buildings above.

Sustainability

We wanted to create a buzz on the site from day one, paving the way for the social, economic and environmental benefits to come, and we’ve done this with a host of pop-up and meanwhile uses. We are reinventing a once derelict building, promoting its reuse over its demolition to ensure that embodied energy is not wasted. And by selecting materials carefully – again to minimise embodied energy – and maximising recycled content, we’re targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

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Our ‘nature-first’ proposals for the park include opening up the River Medlock, allowing nature to finds its way into the city, creating new riverside habitats and providing a flood plain that can accommodate climate-change scenarios. The planting design of this floodable park is being shaped with the future in mind, pre-empting the likely climate shift of 1-2 degrees, and the hard materials will either be recycled or sourced locally to minimise carbon footprint but maximise local character.

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