Posted: Friday, 29th June 2012
THE winners of a competition to find designs to improve two Oxford Road “eyesores” have been announced.
The winning entries could see the Mancunian Way bridge transformed into a “dynamic nodal point of facilities to complement the surrounding activities,” while the Whitworth Gateway would become “a series of interconnected rooms, some internal with roofs, some external beneath the sky and the stars.”
Corridor Manchester devised the competition to showcase public realm designs for two difficult but important gateway sites; the Underpass to the Mancunian Way and between Contact Theatre and Whitworth Park. Seven professional teams were selected to take part, and each team worked with students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the Manchester School of Architecture.
The winning team for the Mancunian Way site was led by AEW Architects, with students Agustin Estefanell Maeso and Tughan Toz, while at Whitworth Gateway the winning team was led by Camlins with students Neha Garg, Arminder Heera and Vinca Olechnowicz-Simpson.
The winning students will receive cash prizes from the Institute of Place Management, while all participating students will receive a one-year free membership from the Institute.
The designs from each team were exhibited at Bruntwood’s Manchester Technology Centre, Oxford Road and responses were collected from those who visited. The designs were then evaluated by a jury comprised of specialists in design, architecture, transport, facilities and property.
Decisions on whether the schemes will be implemented now lie with Transport for Greater Manchester and the various landowners, who will be reflecting on the designs from this competition and other sources, with potential funding being a significant factor to be considered.
David George, Associate Director at AEW, said: “AEW enjoyed the unique opportunity of working with talented students from the Manchester School of Architecture, which produced a very successful working relationship.
“Our design focused on peoples’ perception of Mancunian Way; a barrier, a threshold. By redesigning the space below, we are creating a place of interest and purpose that is a destination for the city.”
Dr Steve Millington, senior lecturer in human geography, said: “This exercise has been excellent for our students who have not only worked with professional agencies but learned about the process of engaging different stakeholders in the shaping or our urban environment.”