University seeking to demolish several mid-century buildings and replace them with 3,300 new student beds

Fallowfield campus 3

Early concept visuals of the campus included in the outline application

The University of Manchester has submitted plans designed by Sheppard Robson for a £400m redevelopment of its Fallowfield campus.

The long-awaited scheme will see the demolition of several buildings, including a 1960s tower block, and the construction of 3,300 new student beds.

The redevelopment of the campus dates back at least ten years, with plans approved in 2015 for 3,200 new student beds. This included a 1,100-bed first phase designed by BDP which was completed in 2019 by Vinci after initial contractor Carillion collapsed.

The.wider scheme then stalled for several years before resurfacing in June with a fresh consultation and a  £7m contract offered by the university for the demolition of buildings on the site.

Last month, the university notified suppliers of its intention to procure a partner to design, build, finance and operate the campus on a contract worth between £275m and £400m.

An outline planning application submitted to Manchester council at the end of last week said the university’s aim is to improve the quality of accommodation and public realm at one of its largest campuses.

The campus is located within a larger cluster of university accommodation in the suburb of Fallowfield, about three miles south of the city centre.

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Buildings on the site include Owens Park, a 61m-tall tower designed by BDP and completed in 1966 which includes relief artwork created by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe, the designer of the BAFTA Award trophy.

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Overhead view of the site, outlined in red

It also includes Oak House, a four-storey 1970s complex, and Woolton Hall, a series of pitched roof blocks built in 1959.

Sheppard Robson said the project team carried out a study considering a deep retrofit of the existing building but found they could not be “feasibly adapted to provide the requirements of a modern student offer.”

The project team also includes Turley, Buro Happold and Landscape Projects.

Sheppard Robson is also working alongside Hawkins Brown and Simpson Haugh on a £450m student accomodation and life sciences complex in Manchester for Moda Living and Property Alliance Group.