The new build development provides high quality flexible social housing apartments within a landmark contemporary structure which, in terms of massing and articulation, provides a visual focus to a major gateway site within Salford. The building is articulated in two separate linked blocks, each addressing adjacent streets and responding to a primary street corner. In order to facilitate flexibility of apartment layout and the maximisation of natural daylight and views, glazed elevational treatments are provided to main elevations across a clearly articulated structural framework .
The scheme reinforces a prominent road junction within Salford whilst underlining the history of the site’s associations with pivotal developments within the organised labour movement (appropriate for the site of the former headquarters of the TGWU for which the local community held a strong attachment). The demolished headquarters had little architectural merit , conversion was not feasible and the building was in poor condition . MBLA worked with artist Liam Curtin to develop a means of referencing the site’s history within the fabric of the new building in a contemporary and dynamic manner. The final stanza of Shelley’s ‘Mask of Anarchy’, written in response to the Peterloo Massacre is incorporated as an illuminated mural around the building at ground level.