KAMPUS by Mecanoo


KAMPUS is a new neighbourhood located at the former Manchester Metropolitan University campus in the heart of the city. Utilising the qualities of the existing built structures – Victorian brick canal-side warehouses and the 1964 concrete tower – presents the opportunity to develop at the city block scale, creating new connections and a new destination.

A melting pot of buildings and spaces, KAMPUS will celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the city with respect to the historic quality of Canal Street with a programme of 533 apartments, leisure and retail spaces.

Pixels and Dutch houses
The architecture expresses the individual building blocks with variations in height to make each facade legible. The alternating positions of accentuated apertures in the facade work to reduce the scale of the brick mass while the light pixel elements add relief and balance to the facades.

The buildings are horizontally divided into three distinct elements: a podium with dark profiled metal cladding, a mid-section with rough textured red brickwork, and a roofscape characterised by Dutch houses also clad in profiled metal.

Secret garden
The podium anchors the new build and tower elements in a consistent base while creating a defined edge to the street. A transparent plinth will provide views into a variety of independent bars, cafes, shops and restaurants that will breathe life into the scheme and create a unique sense of place.

The newly landscaped entrances provide access to KAMPUS and the interesting spaces between the buildings will draw people into the heart of the scheme; a unique ‘secret garden’ that forms the perfect backdrop for afternoon and early evening social events. Source by Mecanoo.

  • Location: Manchester, UK
  • Architect: Mecanoo
  • Architect of the listed canal warehouse buildings: Shed KM
  • Exterior Architecture: Chapman Taylor
  • Client, Property Developer: Capital & Centric and Henry Boot Developments
  • Programme: 533 apartments and leisure/retail spaces across five unique buildings, totalling 44,000 m2; public realm and gardens
  • Year: 2021
  • Photographs: Greg Holmes, Courtesy of Mecanoo