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Urban Design Compendium

Smithfields (207)

207 - Reusing existing buildings

Until its decline in the 1950s, Smithfield Buildings housed one of the city’s most famous department stores - Affleck and Brown, the 'Harrods of the North'. Throughout the 1980s the building stood empty, but was located within an area targeted for regeneration by Manchester City Council. With design ingenuity and flair it has now been redeveloped into 81 new loft apartments, 21 ground floor shops, cafes, a nightclub and basement gym.

In design terms this has been achieved by retaining the atrium to provide daylight into the centre of the block, and skirting this with internal access galleries. The dramatic loft layouts harness, to great effect, the potential for new forms of urban living.

Other Information

  • Location: Manchester
  • Project Team: Urban Splash (developments) Ltd, Stephenson Bell Architects
  • Contact: Urban Splash. Tel.:0161 237 9499
  • Site Area: 13,424m2 former department store


UDC Section - Creating the Urban Structure / Mixing Uses/  /ace  / /

A variety of active uses line the ground floor

Images (image bank)