Timber Wharf, Castlefield, completed 2002
This evening sees the opening of the Birmingham leg of @weareurbansplash’s travelling exhibition, celebrating their 25th anniversary.
GHA designed Timber Wharf, Urban Splash’s first new build development in the early 2000s. The 180-unit project in Manchester’s Castlefield area was won in an international competition against 162 entries and backed by English Partnerships. It used innovative construction methods to provide low-cost homes and generous public spaces for the area, just a 5-minute walk to the city centre along the canal towpath.
GHA’s rational cross-wall and slab configuration used high quality pre-cast concrete and was the result of collaborative research with engineers and manufacturers. The rigorous 6 metre grid framing became the defining identity for the project and demonstrated how housing can respond to the area’s established industrial aesthetic. All apartments are fitted to a high specification including timber floors, and exposed concrete ceilings and walls.
Timber Wharf offers a range of one and two-bedroom apartments, with upper floors benefitting from some of the best views across Manchester and the surrounding area. Every apartment has its own private balcony space or there is also the communal residents garden.
At ground floor, adaptable duplex units can be used as residential, retail or office space. The ground floor is occupied by offices, including the Urban Splash Head Office.
Urban Splash’s Tom Bloxham said at the time “we have worked with GHA on a number of projects in Manchester and Birmingham. Our decision to work with Glenn Howells is based on their rational thinking, desire to achieve modern designs and their eagerness to try out new ideas. I am very proud of the buildings GHA have designed for us”. Having also worked with Urban Splash on the Rotunda and now on Ickneild Port Loop, GHA are delighted to host the free public exhibition on the Ground Floor of our building at 321 Bradford Street, Digbeth. •
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