Built on a 36-acre derelict brownfield site beside the Manchester ship canal, MediaCityUK is one of the UK’s largest construction projects. The BBC has begun moving five major departments to the site, while ITV is relocating its Coronation Street set and its ITV North operation.
The hub also houses the largest HD studio development in Europe alongside flats, shops, a hotel and the University of Salford’s new campus. It is served by a new Metrolink tram station.
Gillespies designed a multifunctional five-acre piazza with a radial geometry and natural stone paving linking buildings and waterfront. The piazza is lit at night by more than 350 computer-controlled LED up-lighters and 20m-high sculptural lighting masts.
In contrast to the sleek lines of the piazza is Media Park, the development’s ‘green heart’. Here, naturalistic planting with timber decking and sweeping paths create intimate spaces for strolling, relaxing and creative inspiration as well as attractive backdrops for outdoor broadcasts.
The area’s industrial past is not forgotten: construction materials include steel, natural stone, cement and wood to reflect its former dockside character.
Jim Gibson, Partner at Gillespies, said: “With no previous architecture or infrastructure, the site was a blank canvas and we were able to start afresh to create contemporary spaces for MediaCityUK’s new workers, residents and visitors.”
The public realm is fully DDA compliant and supports local biodiversity. The new landscape has supported the project’s Breeam Excellent accreditation. By incorporating exemplary sustainable design principles, MediaCityUK is the first project in the world to become a BREEAM-accredited Sustainable Community.
Find out more at www.mediacityuk.co.uk