Stanley Street Car Park
A dynamic and visually stimulating car park in the heart of the city centre
Stanley Street is a visually dynamic and interesting multi-storey car park at the edge of Manchester city centre. In order to stand out, we developed a distinctive facade, using a single panel type tessellated around the building. The resulting design is simple, yet memorable, maximising efficiency and cost-effectiveness, whilst minimising waste.
The car park is part of the New Bailey Zone A/C Masterplan and was developed in the second phase of the wider Salford Central regeneration. An essential part of the surrounding community, serving commuters and residents alike in this rapidly developing commercial and residential quarter. We also designed the newly developed PRS (Private Rented Sector) apartment blocks, The Slate Yard, which sits on the same masterplan.
Meeting the needs of the surrounding community
In response to the context and brief, we established a set of design principles which informed the design and layout. Our design needed to respect the wider Salford Central masterplan and integrate into the various new public realm proposals, as well as consider the practicalities of the phased development across the site.
It was necessary we created an excellent and safe, driver and building user experience with well-marked entrances in the building, along with a straightforward and efficient layout, while being simple to negotiate for both vehicles and pedestrians.
The design needed to be distinctive, to ensure that the car park stood out in its prominent location. As part of the regeneration of Salford Central, the car park needed to enhance the setting of the nearby residential area, without causing unnecessary light pollution. The car park had to be efficient and robust, maximise quality, and stand the test of time without excessive maintenance.
As the site was very small and constrained and we had a target of 600 parking spaces, which we achieved by designing a 10-storey car park.
Excellent customer experience through memorable design
Easy to use
With good sightlines and unobstructed internal environment, the Stanley Street MSCP is easy to use for both motorists and pedestrians.
Good lighting, clear signage and designated walkways direct pedestrians to the well-appointed main access core.
Having parked, pedestrians follow clearly marked walkways to the bright yellow core, with clear level signage. A well-lit lobby lifts and access stair provide access to the pedestrian exit/entrance, which also accommodates pay stations for returning building users. A secondary staircase is provided for escape only.
Internally the pedestrian entrance and lift lobby are distinguished with triangular tiled walls – reminiscent of the building cladding contrasted with bright NCP yellow marking the key areas.
The pedestrian entrance accommodates the pay stations and provides direct access to the main fire fighting/circulation core and 2 x 13 person lifts to the upper levels as well as an escape stair.
Externally the building is set back from Trinity Way, the principle approach, with clear operator signage and sightlines to the building entrances further marked by the main lift core. The entrances are located on Stanley Street, which are marked by further operator signage and a service lane, allowing cars to back up off the highway at busy times.
Vehicles enter the building via a clearly marked three lane entry and exit barrier point overlooked by a glazed opening to the staff office. In normal operation, the vehicular access and exit lanes are controlled with drop-down barriers and ticket dispensing machines overlooked by a glazed screen in the management office. Vehicles may then park either at the lower level, adjacent to Stanley Street or at the upper levels accessed via a series of shallow 1:21 ramps considered flat enough to park on
Creating a visually stimulating, dynamic design
We developed the cladding design alongside the building massing and layout and broke the 10-storey mass down into several parts. The main core was expressed simply with rainscreen cladding and a glazed strip to the lift lobby to signpost the building entrances. The ‘body’ of the building was set above a linear brick plinth and expanded mesh cladding, to create a ‘floating box’ appearance animated by the building’s kite shaped cladding panels.
We developed a relatively 'solid' exterior appearance, so that light pollution was minimised. Working with subcontractor, Maple, we developed a simple, yet memorable cladding design. To do this we used a single panel type tessellated across the facade, which maximised efficiency and cost-effectiveness whilst minimising waste.
Each panel was first conceived as an equilateral triangle, then folded to form a naturally strong triangulated 3-dimensional kite panel made from a single folded sheet of 3mm aluminium and finished in a special metallic silver powder coating. The panel edges were also folded back to stiffen the panel and provide simple bolt fixing points to each of the hexagonal node junctions.
We then arranged these in a rotational array around a central node point to create a hexagonal group of panels which, when placed together, form the principle cladding. As the design developed, each 6th panel from each hexagon was removed to allow more natural light and ventilation to the interior, while creating a further mid-scale to the overall facade and pattern.
The building subtly changes in appearance as the viewer moves around the building emphasised by the play of light and shadow across each of the metallic silver panels. The overall result is a visually stimulating, sculptural facade that makes a positive and memorable architectural statement.
Openings in the facade ensure that the car park is open and well lit, whilst creating a dynamic and lively design at night and minimising the amount of light pollution.
An efficient building requiring minimal maintenance
We have designed Stanley Street car park to minimise energy consumption through optimisation of passive design. The openings in the facade provide good levels of natural light and cross ventilation which reduces energy consumption.
The efficiency of the structure provides the maximum number of parking spaces over the minimum amount of space, reducing the building’s carbon footprint. By using repetition throughout the facade design, we have minimised the waste created and all the building components can be dismantled and recycled in future.
Bringing the facade to life
See this design come to life and watch how we developed the early cladding model.
Working together to ensure compliance and cost-efficiency
We met regularly with the join clients, the operator NCP and the developer English Cities Fund (ECf - a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England), throughout the design process.
By holding regular meetings and workshops, we could test different design options, including the location of the vehicle and pedestrian entrances, car park layout and cladding design, so that we could optimise the design approach and make sure that the building remained within budget.
Through engaging with NCP, we developed the detail over a series of consultation meetings, to ensure that the design would be compliant with their Design Guidelines and scheme-specific requirements.
Creating clear, safe and accessible routes around the space
We consulted with Hill Cannon engineers to develop a two-way Vertical Circulation Module (VCM) car park layout, which achieves a sense of clear, open space and easy transition to either search and park or exit.
We have included six electric charging points, while at the ground and lower levels, and the disabled parking spaces are arranged on the flat area adjacent to the main core and are located on floors ground to six.
All disabled spaces are clearly marked and clustered around the core for ease of access.
ECf (Joint Venture between Muse Developments / Legal & General / Homes & Communities Agency)
20 Accessible spaces
6 Electric charge spaces
British Parking Awards 2019, Best New Car Park
British Parking Awards 2019, Special Projects Award (Facade)
MSA Awards 2019
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