Showing results for ( results)
Case Study

Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

Date 01/12/2023
Product Inner Banner 2000X997 Manchester University

The Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and student hub is a 23,000m² facility that can accommodate up to 6,000 students and 300 staff. Completed in 2012 after an ambitious 99-week deadline from construction to completion, the structure is a unitised dichroic glass envelope which casts shards of multi coloured light across the stark concrete interior. The business school combines sustainability and style to encompass formal teaching spaces alongside the hub which offers a street café like ambiance. It is a modern solution to the old, cloistered halls of academia, which directly correlates with the university's ambition of being a leading sustainable University. Manchester Metropolitan University are seeking to achieve Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, Zero Water and Maximum Biodiversity Campuses.


Architect: John McAslan & Partners

John McAslan & Partners are an award winning, internationally acclaimed practice with studios across the globe. Their ethos states the power of architecture extends much further than the dimensions of individual buildings; architecture is about making life better. They are functionalists that believe a good building is an expression of a clear and rational diagram and believe in contemporary design for a changing world. The merging of 2 well-established university campuses to create Britain's biggest single-site university prompted the commission of a masterplan to address estate rationalisation and future development. The site consisted of a patchwork of recreational spaces, potential development sites, car parking, service yards and roads. The practice's response to this fragmented urban condition was to establish a network of streets and spaces that separate front and back of house and provide enhanced pedestrian and cycling connectivity while integrating the campus with surrounding neighbourhoods. 



Client: Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council worked alongside Manchester Metropolitan University in the development of state of the art, world class facilities with a new £140million campus building in Hulme, Manchester. The campus marks the completion of a £300 million investment programme in Manchester. It houses 6,000 students and 300 staff in the striking ‘Sugarcube’ building, opposite the Hulme Arch gateway, and boasts landscaped public gardens, student accommodation and sports and community facilities. This new campus is the final element of a long-term strategy of renewal and regeneration. This is a huge investment in Hulme, not only in its physical environment but via, many university projects with the community which aim to improve health and wellbeing, raise educational aspiration and attainment, and empower people at the grassroots.


Main Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine are a family-owned construction and infrastructure company established since 1869 who design, develop, build, and preserve some of Britain’s most iconic buildings. Their ambition is to shape towns, cities, and landscapes by putting the local community at the heart of everything they do. Their commitment to technical excellence by continually adapting and evolving, looking to the future, and using innovative technologies and techniques to deliver the best results combined with employing the best people in the industry is what has led to their enduring success over the last 150years. Given an ambitious 99-week deadline for the project, the latest construction technologies were required to complete the building ready for staff and equipment to move in. Work was finished right on schedule, using BIM to reduce costs and Soft-Landing Techniques to improve collaboration ensuring transition of both staff and equipment to be smooth and stress free. During the development and construction of Birley, local employment targets were exceeded. Sir Robert McAlpine recruited 42% of the workforce from the Greater Manchester area and 13% from the City of Manchester.


Plasmor Products Used: Approx 5,500m² 100mm & 140mm Stranlite Paint Grade

Plasmor Stranlite Paint Grade building blocks are lightweight aggregate blocks ideal for commercial building projects. They are robust and durable and provide excellent fixability.  These well established, building regulation compliant, quality products, are the perfect choice for such an ambitious project. Find out more about what Stranlite building blocks can do for your construction projects today and download the datasheets, certificates and more.