Silk Street

Social housing and apartments for MCC

The apartments are split into 3 blocks, to maintain permeability to the Rochdale Canal.  Subsequently, the blocks have active frontages on all sides.  Two parking courts are located between the three blocks. The landscape design will be carefully considered to reduce the impact of vehicles on the scheme.

At 5 storeys, the apartments will naturally create a presence along the canal. This scale and massing ties with the ‘heroic’ mills and other industrial buildings scattered along the canal.

A saw-tooth (northlight roof) is proposed to reduce the scale of the apartment blocks along Silk Street, whilst creating an angled, south facing, roofscape suitable for photovoltaic panels.  The roof form also ties the scheme to the industrial heritage of the area / canal.  Red brick is chosen as the main material to tie the scheme to the local vernacular (terraced housing and mills). A quality, textured red brick is also chosen for cost reasons.

I.e. it is better to have a high quality red brick rather than a poorer, nonstandard, coloured brick.

Exposed steel structure and corrugated metal cladding are utilised to contrast against the heavier, monolithic brickwork, whilst referencing the more recent building materials found in the area.

The main entrance to each block is via Silk Street. Secondary entrances for refuse and cycle stores are served via the parking courts.

The apartments’ layout is based around a ‘cluster typology’. An arrangement that reduces circulation, thus increasing efficiency.

A large window onto the stair will provide natural light to all the common parts / circulation.  The apartments are more generous in size compared to standard, developer led schemes.

Each apartment has their own, larger than standard, corner balcony.  Defensible space is created around the scheme in the form of a dwarf brick wall with railings above. This principle is proposed to conform to Secured By Design principles without implementing large, opaque boundaries.

The materials palette (especially the landscape elements) will need to blend into the new, modular, homes to create a balanced, sense of place. We foresee a family of materials that can be common to both residential types. For example the new houses may utilise the same brickwork found on the apartments for a low level kicker.