the world's most visited architecture website
All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Gallery
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Broadway Malyan
  6. 2013
  7. Mann Island / Broadway Malyan

Mann Island / Broadway Malyan

  • 10:00 - 15 May, 2015
Mann Island / Broadway Malyan
Mann Island / Broadway Malyan, © Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

© Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner + 27

  • Building Contractor

    BAM
  • M&E

    Cundall
  • Building Services

    Cundall
  • Environmental Design

    Cundall
  • BREEAM Assessor

    Cundall
  • Structural Engineer

    Bingham Davies
  • Quantity Surveyor

    Tweeds
  • Landscape

    Broadway Malyan
  • Engineer

    Gravitate
  • Acoustic consultant

    Hoare Lea Acoustics
  • Consulting engineer

    Webb Yates Engineers
  • Façade Consultant

    Wintech
  • Total Contract Cost

    £93million, (inclusive of public realm at £2.36million)
  • GIFA cost per m2

    £1,942 per m2
  • BREEAM

    Block 3 – BREEAM Excellent accreditation
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

Text description provided by the architects. The Mann Island mixed-use development, by Broadway Malyan architects, sits dramatically within Liverpool’s Mercantile World Heritage Site. This is architecture holistically engaging with the complexities and subtleties of its richly layered urban grain - and in so doing, delivering a bold but deferential scheme which provides a hinge point, a contemporary interface between the Pier Head group of buildings (known collectively as the ‘Three Graces’), to the north, and the Albert Dock, to the south.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

Designed by the practice's Liverpool Studio director, Matt Brook, Mann Island is this year the recipient of a RIBA award. This recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects endorses a position, increasingly held by professionals and public alike, that Mann Island is indeed a worthy addition to Liverpool’s famous collection of fine buildings.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

The £93m scheme consists of three structures and three public areas - the former comprising two trapezoidal residential wedges and one orthogonal office block; and the latter a sequence of carefully crafted spaces which reconnect the city centre with its historic waterfront.

Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

The residential aspect of the project reinvents the high-density city centre apartment typology. Externally, the granite facades create a civic scale, while internally 12 storey covered courtyards provide a sense of residential community and escape from the city. The courtyards enable all the apartments, 363 in total, to be dual aspect and naturally cross-ventilated. The provision of internal balconies and defensible space provide animation and reinforce a sense of community.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

The geometry of the two residential forms relates to Mann Island and the nearby Graving Docks, with their profiled roofscapes preserving key vistas of the Pier Head buildings when viewed from the Albert Dock. The geometry of the commercial cuboid, on the other hand, relates to the Mersey Tunnel building, the adjacent multi-lane highway and the city grid beyond, as well as providing a solid backdrop to the profile of the residential wedges when viewed from the river.

Section AA
Section AA

In essence, Mann Island’s tectonic presence is defined by the massing of its two residential buildings: two monolithic sculptures faced in absolute black granite and black tinted glazing floating over double height clear glass podiums. The module fenestration of the black facades is played down during the day, so enriching the impact of its pared-back aesthetic. Flush and devoid of decoration, these elevations are an ode to minimal art, capturing in their geometric abstraction the spirit and essence of this visual arts movement, which emerged in New York in the early 1960s.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

Taken as a whole, these smooth black surfaces present a dramatic counterpoint to the visual intensity of the Pier Head buildings, while at the same time harmonizing with the surrounding dock water. 

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

Integral to this dialogue is the quality of the polished granite, which was painstakingly researched in order to minimise the mineral inclusions within the material, thereby maximising its reflective sensitivity to the rapidly changing light and weather conditions of the dock environment. Within this dynamic, the polished granite and glass facades reflect the texture of the surrounding World Heritage Site, creating an ever-changing appearance as visitors move through and around the buildings.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

This animation of the residential facades is further heightened by the glazing panels opening inwards, which creates a sense of intrigue and mystery: dark flush facades giving way to seemingly darker interiors within. And then at night everything changes: civic sculptures metamorphose into city centre apartments as residents within each block illuminate their homes. To maximize the impact of what appears from the outside to be a change in typology, the scheme’s external night-time illumination is restricted to, and around, the retail podiums further enhancing the ‘floating’ nature of the buildings above.

Lower Floor Plan
Lower Floor Plan

The glazed podiums also create a visual contrast to the solid bases of the adjacent Pier Head buildings, while the sloping roofs of the residential wedges form fifth elevations whose roofscapes are animated with terraces offering views of the river and surrounding urban grain.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

This ‘fifth elevation’ is meticulously detailed: the sharpness and precision of both the copings and the atrium roof design elegantly define the two shadow gap drainage channels which circumscribe each of the roofs. The crenulated roofscapes also provide a sense of scale and texture, which is offset by the purity of the elevations. Moreover, when viewed as a composition, the valleys and peaks of these two residential blocks reflect the skyline flourishes of the Pier Head buildings.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

The clients for the project were Neptune Developments and Countryside Properties. After working closely with Liverpool City Council and gaining strong support from CABE and English Heritage, construction began in October 2007 and the scheme was completed in spring 2013.

View the complete gallery

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Mann Island / Broadway Malyan" 15 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/629913/mann-island-broadway-malyan/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Read comments

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.