Money
  • Former car garage and music venue developed into home for 603 students in city centre
  • The 32-storey building provides panoramic view across the city and out into the surrounding Peak District
  • Facilities include a cinema, karaoke room, study areas and meeting rooms

Unite Students, the UK’s largest provider of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), has opened its latest development in Manchester.

Built on the site of a former garage and music venue, Artisan Heights, which provides a home for 603 students, is located within walking distance of both Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester.

The £82.5 million development in New Wakefield Street, Manchester is a 32-storey tower block. It sits adjacent to the river Medlock and benefits from panoramic views of the city and, on a clear day, across the Peak District from the top floors.

The new building has a range of facilities including, two common rooms with study areas, a cinema room, meeting rooms, karaoke room, tea and coffee stations, laundry, bike store, and games areas.

The buildings glazed cut out features which can be seen on alternating corners at the top of the building and anodised metal façade help create a contemporary look which is sensitive to the surrounding area.

The development has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating and benefits from a green roof on level five comprising of a natural habitat to encourage insect and wildlife. BREEAM is an international standard which provides independent third-party certification of the sustainability performance of buildings and infrastructure projects.

During construction, the team had to overcome several challenges which made completing this development one of Unite Students’ most challenging to date. Among the challenges were ground contamination, archaeological finds, abandoned culverts, and the discovery of a well.

In addition, the team had to overcome the complexities arising from the unprecedented impact brought about by Brexit and COVID-19. These challenges included material shortages, ensuring a COVID-19 safe working environment and the resulting reduced numbers of operatives who could safely work on site.

Luke Brooker, Project Development Manager at Unite Students, said:

“It’s with great pride that we are able to open the doors of this fantastic building to students, especially in these uncertain times. The building sets a new standard of quality across the Unite Students portfolio.”

Matthew Loughlin, Group Development Director at Unite Students, said:

“This exciting new development is testament to the hard work displayed by staff and contractors to overcome some unique challenges. The development has been one of our most challenging to date.

“The combined effort allows us to bring the highest-quality accommodation to the area, along with providing studio flats and cluster bedrooms specifically designed for students. Those living with us will benefit from having on-site support services. The development also provides a number of communal facilities in a highly sought-after area of the city.”

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