Echo street co-living scheme in Manchester gets the green light

13th June 2018

Planning permission has been granted by Manchester City Council for the Sheppard Robson-designed Echo Street development, which will be one of the first purpose built co-living schemes in the UK and the first of its kind in Manchester.

For client iQ, this new residential project is located in the city center and will provide 642 co-living bedrooms as well as 242 student bedrooms in an all-inclusive model. From studios and student clusters, to shared co-living units, premium apartments and accessible units, residents will have access to extensive indoor and outdoor amenity spaces, for working, socialising, dining and exercising.

The project – located on the outskirts of Whitworth Street conservation area, next to the gateway of Piccadilly and the North Campus of the University of Manchester – is characterised by a series of slim vertical elements. These are stepped to respect and mediate between the smaller scale buildings around Vimto Park to the west of the site, and the more diverse context to the east and south.

Inspired by the immediate conservation context, the design has been conceived as a confident response that is rooted in Manchester’s spirit of progress and innovation. The building’s façade is made up of red brick with metal accents adding variation and texture, creating a contemporary interpretation of the conservation area’s character.

Internally, the co-living concept explores the blurring of lines between public and private uses, creating an opportunity to sculpt the amenity areas to promote a community feel. Inspired by the context, three design threads run through the interiors – Park (promoting green living and connection to Vimto Park), Brick (historic texture), Tech (future innovation). The residential units will be quiet, neutral spaces to feel inviting to short term tenants as well as provide personalisation for tenants who wish to curate their own spaces.

Rupert Goddard, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “The project’s form, materiality and tenure are all rooted in the diversity of what is a catalytic site for an important emerging Manchester quarter.”

Rob Roger, Chief Executive of iQ said: "Echo Street provides flexible accommodation within an environment that encourages community, through well thought out collaborative social and working spaces – not too dissimilar to the benefits experienced as a student at University."