We are delighted to be supporting work by the charity Embassy, to help address homelessness in central Manchester. Embassy has adopted a pioneering approach to design a self-contained village.
They plan to create 40 high quality modular homes from repurposed shipping containers, to deliver a safe and welcoming community for homeless and vulnerable men. This will provide them with their own accommodation and a supportive environment, to help remove the significant barriers that many will face during the transition from life on the streets to gaining that stable foothold in our communities.
The village will be situated below the railway arches in Manchester city centre between the Bridgewater Canal and the River Irwell, rejuvenating a current derelict site. At the heart of the community there will be a ‘village hall’ that acts as the community hub. This has been designed to be a training and mentoring facility for residents, where they will be taught a range of life skills including how to budget and unpack past traumas. This will also create knowledge sharing opportunities for the residents and create a valuable support network within the community. Throughout the village there will be an array of zones designated to communal outdoor spaces which will include a multi-use sports area, somewhere to grow vegetables and areas to socialise. These will be linked via the ‘Underway’ which will act as the spine of the site, providing a lively central street between the resident’s properties and the more social community zones.
Planit designed these outdoor spaces, on a pro-bono basis to support the creation of this new village. Our aim has been to design a landscape that will resonate with each resident and provide them with a sense of place and belonging associated with their new home. A sustainable landscape, will be created through the reuse and longevity of materials, and a resilient planting strategy. As a B-Corp accredited practice, Planit actively seeks to support the communities within which we work. Utilising our skills and expertise to improve the local area and local lives gives a sense of great pride. Projects of this nature are at the forefront of initiatives that generate solutions to one of the greatest social challenges our city faces.
“This was a really interesting project to be involved in, and it was a great opportunity to witness the positive impact that landscape architecture can have on issues such as homelessness” — Clarissa, Graduate Landscape Architect.
This project will create a new community in Manchester, offering a supportive and safe environment for the city’s homeless and vulnerable men. Planit I.E was brought on board to design the entirety of the outside space which includes the Underway, Bridgewater Gardens and Embassy Waterside. It is our privilege to have worked with: Planner, Deloitte Real Estate; Architect, Jon Matthews Architects; Transport, Civil and Structural Engineer, Curtins; Quantity Surveyors, Arcadis; Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, Crookes Walker; Fire Engineer, OFR; Acoustic Engineer, Fisher Acoustics; CDMC Consultants, CDMC Services; Building Control, Ball and Berry; Sustainability Consultant, Element Sustainability; CGI artists, Our Studio; with Construction Logistics Support provided by Balfour Beatty.
Written by Charles Atkins, Studio Support Administrator