The design of the houses draws inspiration from the area’s Georgian terraces and reinterprets this in a contemporary manner. The new townhouses respond to the historic terraces in height and mass, and are vertically oriented on the pattern of the old windows. This is further emphasised by deep niches to the windows and door sets, which contrast and add detail to the flat façade.
Sharing the public space
New terraces reinstate the area’s lost urban atmosphere, strengthening the whole area and establishing the historic church as a focus point. It also defines the new pedestrian boulevard – St Phillip’s Walk – at the heart of the development. The public space has been enhanced with new outdoor spaces that vary from private, ground-floor green spaces and roof gardens to communal spaces and pedestrian, play-friendly, high-quality, home zone streets.
Connecting old and new
A key design objective was to create a scheme that was sensitive to the area’s heritage, yet had a clear, contemporary identity. As such, clay bricks were selected for their ability to mediate between the red brick of the Georgian houses and the sandstone of St Philip’s church.
Grey in colour with a light texture, the brickwork contributes to the development’s limited material palette, and together this creates homogeneity, and gives the scheme its unique sense of place. This homogeneity is further reinforced by the choice of mortar, which is close in colour and tone to the bricks. The mortar joints have been subtly recessed by 3 mm to underline the bricks’ tonal variation, and to provide visual interest.
Making the most of the limited space, while respecting the historic centre, the project serves as a best-case example of how historic cities can be transformed without losing their unique identity. The handmade quality of the clay bricks fits in well with the regenerative aspect of the project.
Project nameTimekeepers Square, Salford, United Kingdom
ClientEnglish Cities Fund (ECf is a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal and General and the Homes and Communities Agency)
Terca Forum Smoked Branco
Year of completion2017