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Urban and Civic Rejig Origin

One of the most notable unbuilt developments of the last property cycle in Manchester was the three-block Origin, a collection of prismatically shaped buildings designed by Ian Simpson Architects.

The failed development has now been bought by Urban & Civic, formerly Terrace Hill, who plan on redeveloping a site that has laid vacant for the past 22 years.

Taking the concept of three buildings and redesigning them for the present planning cycle, there will now be two residential buildings aimed at primarily at the private market with some 240 apartments ranging in size from 1 to 3 bedrooms whilst the third building will be a four star plus hotel. Located in the centre of the scheme will be a new public square, with ambitious retail plans to attract niche outlets and boutiques rather than the usual Costa Coffee and Tesco type shops.

In terms of scale the buildings will be roughly the same sort of mass as the approved designs from 2007, the tallest of these was slightly under 57 metres in height. Unfortunately the highly sculpted shapes the project previously consisted of appear to have been dropped for less futuristic and more modernist looking designs. This change is also represented by the project name itself, which has gone from the snappy Origin to the rather more workmanlike Princess Street and Whitworth Corner.

A planning application has yet to be submitted, and the developer is still soliciting comments about the proposals online, however Urban & Civic plan a quick turn around should they receive planning permission with construction beginning as soon as the summer of 2016 for a 2018 finish.
Princess Street and Whitworth Corner, Manchester
Princess Street and Whitworth Corner, Manchester