Leading architecture practice John McAslan + Partners (JMP) has been appointed as masterplanners for Manchester Science Parks (msp), helping the facility forge new connections with the city centre.
The masterplan will reshape msp’s 9.3 hectare Corridor site, creating 250,000 sq ft of new floor space for the growth of innovative companies, across industries such as digital media, biotechnology and IT. This will increase the total amount of lettable space at the Corridor site to 470,000 sq ft. JMP’s design has nearly doubled the facility’s commercial space by significantly improving the density of the Park, introducing seven new buildings through a phased and flexible development framework that anticipates further growth in the sector.
Whilst increasing lettable space, msp will also introduce an open public space at the heart of the development which will be central to transforming the campus environment, creating a meeting point for research staff, academics and visitors.
The rethinking of the msp site is an important opportunity to redefine how key resources in Manchester are interlinked. The scheme occupies a prominent site between the University of Manchester and the residential communities of Hulme. Its reshaping will redefine relationships between educational, commercial and cultural institutions, such as The University of Manchester and the Whitworth Art Gallery. Crucially, the new masterplan will strengthen physical links between the msp and the hospitals, promoting collaborations between the institutions.
The msp masterplan is a key part of the vision set out by Corridor Manchester, the partnership set up to deliver economic growth and investment in the knowledge economy along the Corridor (the Oxford Road area of the City) for the benefit of the City Region.
JMP’s masterplan will be delivered in a number of phases over the next 10 years. This staggered approach will allow the complex changes to be made with minimal disturbance to the existing facilities.
Tony Skipper, Managing Director of John McAslan + Partners, said: “Over the next few years, we will see Manchester Science Park become a much bigger part of city life. We are delighted to be working on such a prominent scheme that will reshape the ways in which Manchester’s leading institutions and resources will interlink and collaborate.”
Jane Davies, msp chief executive, said: “This is an extremely exciting development for Manchester Science Parks and we are pleased to have John McAslan + Partners on board as project masterplanners. The expansion of our Corridor site will bring innumerable benefits to both our tenants and the surrounding area and we are looking forward to this next stage in our evolution.”