Jon Matthews completes 18-story residential tower in Manchester


The development, designed by recently established local practice, is intended to act as a catalyst for other residential projects along the Irwell River.

Offering private accommodation for rent, its 354 units are spread over two blocks of 15 floors and 18 floors, connected by an amenity podium.

The units are a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments. The design consists of a pair of slender linear buildings, each with a formal brick exterior elevation and a lighter, more playful interior elevation facing the podium garden.

The project also includes common areas and leisure areas, including a reception, laundry, cinema room, fitness room, bicycle storage and underground parking.

Architect’s view

The initial concept was to create a pair of linear buildings. Each of them would have a bold and formal outer layer which is then contrasted and complemented by a more open and playful inner layer facing a common courtyard.

The orientation and mass of two linear blocks along the north-south axis were most appropriate to maximize the potential of the site, including its position as a gateway, access to views and light and the building’s relation to the river.

The riverside views show the slim proportions and elegance of the waterfront facades. The principle of the formal “outer” layer and the playful “inner” layer can be clearly seen in their contrasting elements. The variation in height of the proposed elements creates an interesting and expressive skyline.

All the units on offer face east or west and offer a view of the water. The inner layer of each building’s floor plate is recessed on the penultimate floor to increase the feeling of height variation when viewed from ground level.

The top floor of each block contains accommodations on the outer layer and a shared roof terrace on the inner layer which will benefit from sunlight / daylight and views over the water and a wider area beyond .
Jon Matthews Architects

Customer view

Cole Waterhouse wanted to create an iconic new building on the banks of the River Irwell. The site asked us to try to deliver something of architectural value that respects the heritage of the region.

Our ambition, as a team, was to set a new benchmark for residential development in this new location within Trafford Park. Jon Matthews Architects understood this desire and the need to deliver an impressive level of quality and detail while being able to give good value to buyers and through them to potential tenants.

It was therefore essential for Cole Waterhouse that the design of the project both integrated with the surrounding heritage but also offered an exceptional contemporary design. JMA worked closely with us to encourage the team to incorporate some very impressive design details, as evidenced by the intricate brick design, the impressive reception on the ground floor and the variety of layouts in the apartments.

The JMA team have been exceptionally good throughout the initial design concepts right down to the simplicity and quality of the residential amenity spaces. They delivered everything we asked for and more.
Conor Flood, Director of Development, Cole Waterhouse Real Estate

Project data

Start on the spot April 2019
Completion May 2021
Gross interior floor area 28,295 m²
Gross floor area (internal + external) 31,270 m²
Contract form Design and construction JCT 2016
Construction cost £ 44million
Architect Jon Matthews Architects
Customer Cole waterhouse
Structural engineer Renaissance
M&E Consultant Futurserv
QS mass
Fire consultant DFC
Landscape consultant Exterior architecture
Acoustic consultant Hann tucker
Project Manager mass
Certified building inspector Ball + Berry
Main contractor Domis Construction
CAD software used MicroStation

Environmental performance data

Annual city water consumption 33.86 meters3/ occupant
Watertightness at 50pa 4.12 m3/ hm2
Heating and hot water load 37.78 kWh / m2/year
Conception of life 50 years
Carbon incorporated / lifetime 1,147 kg of CO2eq / m2
Annual CO2 emissions 22.93 kgCO2eq / m2


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