From the shadows of the industrial revolution to a vibrant new neighbourhood.
Ancoats and New Islington are two distinctive neighbourhoods that sit to the northeast of Manchester city centre. Buttress has worked with strategic partners on a number of key studies that set in place principles for their development, helping create independent and vibrant new neighbourhoods for people to live, work and play in the city centre.
Placemaking and positioning
Working with CF Commercial and Manchester City Council, Buttress developed a placemaking and positioning study of the Ancoats and New Islington Areas. The study established the vision for a new and distinctive Urban Quarter and was used in discussions with existing and new property owners, developers, and investors to agree on an implementation plan for the area’s development.
The study focused on the nature, characteristics, and quality of existing areas including their connections, landscape, amenity, public art, and commercial and retail offers. With CF Commercial Buttress identified gaps in the offer that would help establish the new area and gain a critical mass to support new business opening here.
Key to the area’s success has been the activation of ground floors and utilisation of heritage context to create a new and unique place. Encouraging independent, small, and unique businesses to locate in the area has supported the development of a new community.
Against the plan, Buttress has been architect for several successful developments including:
- Halle St Peters: conversion of a listed church to performance and practice spaces for the Halle Orchestra and choirs.
- Cotton Square: a new mixed-use residential development whose scale and architectural design complement the surrounding heritage context. The development also includes the restoration of the Edinburgh Castle pub.
- Jactin House: a commercial development with a refurbished historic mill and new extension; now a co-working hub and offices.
Buttress is designing a number of the area’s new buildings that react to the distinctive local character and critically cater to a range of uses, including creative workspaces and light industry, to deliver an authentic evolution of Ancoats as a living and working neighbourhood.
The second phase of development is planned to build upon the successful regeneration to date. Proposals by landscape architects OPEN put a revitalised public space at the heart of the area’s ongoing regeneration, with a street hierarchy that puts walking and cycling first and opens up traffic-free access to the area’s famous canals.
Buttress is designing a number of the area’s new buildings that react to the distinctive local character and critically cater to a range of uses, including creative workspaces and light industry, to deliver an authentic evolution of Ancoats as a living and working neighbourhood. These include Eliza Yard, Rodney Street, Downley Drive and Ancoats Dispensary residential schemes, and a community hub sitting onto the new green.
NWDA mill study
Pre-dating recent developments Buttress initially worked with the NWDA to assess and make recommendations for a number of the existing listed mills in the area. This fed into appraisal documents that packaged land for developers and inward investment. We also supported the NWDA with heritage impact assessments and necessary holding repairs to stabilise some of the larger buildings.
Cotton Square photo © Gavin Stewart
Andy leads Buttress' residential and regeneration team and has the rare ability to cut through to the heart of complex issues to find a solution.
Martin is an experienced architect who has successfully delivered projects across a broad range of sectors, most recently specialising in hotels, multi-residential, mixed-use, and masterplanning work.
Matthew is an architect and director at Buttress who has led the successful design and delivery of new build and refurbishment projects across a range of cultural, academic and community-led sectors, both regionally and internationally.
He also coordinates the practice's sustainability activities and has led Buttress' B Corp journey helping the company achieve certification at the end of 2022.