Chorlton Park Apartments
|Chorlton Park Apartments|
|Town or city||Chorlton, Manchester|
|Design and construction|
|Structural engineer||Whitby Bird|
The Chorlton Park Apartments, is an award winning "Green building" apartment building in Chorlton, Manchester, England. It was designed by architect Roger Stephenson and was built as part of collaboration between Tom Bloxham's development company Urban Splash and Irwell Valley in 2002.
The development won a number of awards including the Housing Design Award in 2001, Roses Design Awards - best residential project in 2002 and in 2003 it won the MSA Design Award in the residential section. Its most prestigious award came in 2004 when it was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA Award.
The site was formerly a contaminated petrol filling station located at 417 Barlow Moor Road, an arterial route connecting Cheshire and Manchester City Centre in the suburban setting of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, south Manchester.
The site was later acquired by Irwell Valley in the late 1990s who at the time were concerned that they were acquiring the image of a "worthy-but-dull" organisation. They then in 1999 instigated a limited invited competition by to design an exciting scheme for approximately 20 new homes to be developed on the site and invited four high profile architects including Stephenson Bell, MBLC and Sterling Award winners Ian Simpson and Stephen Hodder to compete for the instruction.
Each submission was to be submitted anonymously and the design brief for the scheme was to provide "space, light and warmth, flexibility, integration of external environment, and the maximisation of natural heat, ventilation and light" with Manchester City Council planning department additionally calling for a distinctive landmark design to be constructed on the site in order to provide some variety to a location which is predominantly made up of two storey semi-detached residential properties and low-rise retail units.
Urban Splash collaboration
The design put forward by Stephenson Bell was selected by the panel and won the competition. Tom Bloxham, of Urban Splash, who was one of the judges on the selection panel, admired the scheme so much that he offered to become a joint venture partner in the development. After Urban Splash came on board the scheme was then altered slightly to provide underground parking with additional duplex units added along its front elevation with Barlow Moor Road.
The scheme is predominantly of three storey construction, with a five storey element overlooking Chorlton Park. All units can be accessed by the disabled users and the individual apartments are accessed via an open timber floored deck with an elevator servicing all floors including the basement car parking facility. The building has low embodied energy, is highly insulated.
Communal space includes the underground car park, circulation areas, roof garden and courtyard garden with barbecue facility and basement bicycle store. There is a single entrance and was devised to encourage communal activity.
Natural light is maximised through the orientation of the living rooms with the bedrooms being located on the inner or courtyard side of the building to minimise any noise emanating from the street side of the development.
Each of the apartments benefits from large balconies with louvred screens which run on rollers to provide shade and privacy. The balconies are design to be an extension of the living space and are constructed using a frame of large green-oak posts and beams which were reclaimed from a wind damaged forest in France.
Increased energy efficiency
The architect avoided expensive energy generators, photo voltaics, solar panels, or windmills and used high insulation and energy conservation to ensure energy efficiency and the U value of the building is increased to 0.11 to ensure low heating costs.
The construction is of timber platform frame to improved efficient and cost effectiveness and also used renewable materials. The external materials designed to be easily maintained through the use of robust materials.
The structure gives the appearance of masonry, but it is actually a highly insulated timber frame. The units all have generous balconies, framed in wind-toppled French oak, with sliding louvred shutters to control privacy and sunlight, which look out on to the parkland across the road. This is quite a busy thoroughfare, particularly at peak hours, but the flats are remarkably quiet.
Contaminated fill was cleared, providing space for a basement car park of in situ concrete. Sustainable construction and low heating and maintenance costs were among the priorities in developing the site. To deliver the necessary level of heat retention, we made walls and floors of sealed units filled with insulating material. Each unit is formed from timber joists some 300 mm deep, set close together and sandwiched between floorboards or sheets of marine ply. Externally, the architect's choice of materials is emphasized by the oak-framed balconies provided for every apartment.
- Housing Design Award
- Roses Design Awards - best residential project
- MSA Design Award
- RIBA Award
- Burdett, Jill (19 November 2002). "A radical rethink on social housing". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media).
- CABE. "Chorlton Park has been described as a classic demonstration of value for money.". Building for Life. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- "1999 - competition entry chorlton park". Stephenson Bell Architects. Retrieved 6 October 2007.[dead link]
- Dave Simister. "Dave Simister - Stephenson Bell presentation". Building for Life. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- Building for Life
- "stephenson/bell Residential". Archsearch. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- "BEST OF BRITISH HOMES 2004". Home Design Awards. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- Urban Splash sells out in chorlton
- Picture of Manchester Chorlton Park Apartments designed by Stephenson Bell photography media portfolio by Aidan O'Rourke
- EWM: Chorlton May 2004