Housing Design Award project winner 2011 - New Islington, Manchester

Research output: Other contribution


About the Awards: In 1947 Aneurin Bevan, then Minister for Health with responsibility for housing, announced that his Ministry would be giving annual awards for public housing design and layout. After consultation with the RIBA, awards committees were set up for each of the then four English regions, presenting one medal each for an urban and a rural scheme, except for London where the medals were for one new scheme, and one reconstruction. In 1981 the NHBC joined the DoE and the RIBA as sponsors, to create the Housing Design Awards. The Awards became a biennial event, and the public and private sector categories were abolished, reflecting their increasing convergence. In 2009 the newly formed HCA joined the Awards as a full partner, reflecting its role in delivering a national housing programme in partnership with both local authorities and the private sector. 2010 sees the welcome return of the Department of Health as an Awards partner, some 62 years after they were launched by Nye Bevan. A special award will be presented each year to a scheme offering a more attractive option for housing our ageing population. 2010 also sees the important addition of the RICS, the housing industry’s largest professional body. It means the awards are genuinely a cross industry partnership between various arms of government, the private sector and all the professional institutions. No other housing awards have the mandate to call themselves “the industry’s Housing Design Awards”. About the Project: mæ architects have designed this affordable housing project in New Islington, one of the seven Millennium Community projects in the UK. Our scheme - christened 'The Guts' by residents owing to the site's central position in the 'belly' of the New Islington masterplan - was granted planning permission by Manchester City Council in March 2010 and is currently under construction. mæ was appointed as architect in November 2009, by clients Great Places Housing Group and developer partner Urban Splash. It is the eighth scheme to have been developed at New Islington, including Great Places’ post-modernist Islington Square, completed in 2006 and its green-roofed sister development, Guest Street, in 2007. Urban Splash developed the iconic Chips apartment block in 2009, while a public park - Cotton Field - which was funded by the HCA, has also been completed along with a new health centre. The Guts will provide houses for residents of the former Cardroom Estate who are set to return to the area, and consists of 18 units in total over a 0.45 hectare site. Design and Appearance The Guts has been designed as a culturally legible set of individual homes, which together form a strong unified whole. The archetype of a ”home”, with its association with the form of a pitched-roofed house, was key to the design development of the project. The Guts comprises both terraced and semi-detached houses, unified with one consistent colour of brick at ground floor level and individual colours for each home on top. This element allows for recognition and family association, while maintaining a sense of the communal. Roofs are slate with inset gutters. Windows are designed as painted timber. We believe that the appearance of the dwellings proposed is a joyous and constructive response to the requirements of the area. We want it to be a place that people want to live. The proposal is split into two urban blocks. The northern block is simply the continuation of an existing terrace facing onto Weybridge Road, with the building line referencing the other end of the street, enabling a reasonable rear garden to be provided for this marginally tapering site. These and the similarly orientated existing terraced properties adjoining are well surveyed to the rear because of the orientation of the Southern block’s dwellings onto this area. The southern block is bounded to the north by Cardroom Road and to the south by New Street. The form these dwellings take is front to back semi-detached units with side gardens, which gives a sense of spaciousness to the scheme, while allowing visual connections to be made through the site to the future developments in the South. All dwellings in this area have their main pedestrian and vehicular entrance on the street on which they are arrayed. Project facts: 
Location: New Islington, East Manchester
Date: 2009 - ongoing
Value: £2.5 million
 Client: Great Places Housing Group with Urban Splash Ltd
Consultants: Mansell Related Publicity 
- Mae architects rethinks the semi for Urban Splash's New Islington 
Building Design, 10 September 2010
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBuilding Design
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2010


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