THE construction of Manchester’s newest skyscraper is underway at a site on Albion Street in the city centre.
Main contractor Russells Construction has begun preparatory works for installing the foundations for the 28-storey Axis Tower.
Designed by 5plus Architects, on behalf of development partners Property Alliance Group and U+I, Axis Tower comprises 169 apartments and two vast penthouse suites on the 28th floor.
The skyscraper will be a striking addition to the Manchester skyline, clad in bronzed aluminium panels and a glass façade system incorporating a 30 metre media screen.
Located at a gateway junction, it is a complex scheme with a tight footplate bound by a waterway and two main roads.
The 8,200sq ft triangular site sits on the bank of the Rochdale Canal, at the eastern end of Deansgate Locks, between Manchester Central and First Street.
Russells, together with their engineering consultants WSP, claims to have developed an innovative build solution to construct the tower, creating a statement residential development alongside the nearby Beetham Tower.
Gareth Russell, of Russells Construction, said: “Building a 28-storey tower on a small site on a canal bank in the middle of the city is no mean feat, but we have developed a wealth of experience of this type of constrained high rise build with several recent city centre hotel schemes, and have put together an expert team to devise and implement the solutions necessary to deliver Axis.
“There has been a lot of complicated planning and design to get this stage, so it’s great to get started.”
The build programme will see Russells partially remove existing foundations which were installed for a prior scheme, put in new foundations and create the basement floor of the new building before commencing the upward build.
During construction, a temporary platform will be built across the Rochdale Canal to Whitworth Street, which will provide access for deliveries. A tower crane will stand at the centre of the site for the construction of the superstructure.
The internal design of the building will a create luxury space, unique in the city centre residential market. The 24-hour concierge reception area will be in polished concrete with embedded artworks, and each apartment will be finished with high specification materials, all enjoying stunning panoramic views across Manchester.
Dominic Pozzoni of Property Alliance Group said: “The start of construction is an extremely exciting moment for the Alliance team, our architects 5plus and everyone who has worked so hard to bring this project to fruition.
“Axis Tower is an exciting opportunity which will set a new benchmark in residential living and, when complete, will provide a fantastic landmark at the city’s southern gateway.
“Plans for Axis have evolved in response to market demand, and now is absolutely the time to develop the site as residential accommodation.
“The popularity of Manchester has seen city living increase, and this is set to continue as new investment in employment and leisure opportunities further enhance the city’s appeal.
“The off plan sales and reservations we already have for Axis are further evidence of the prescience of this scheme, and we look forward to watching the tower grow over the coming months.