Exchange Court Greengate Building, Manchester, Tallest Residential in Salford Development, Images

Exchange Court Greengate Salford

Salford High-Rise Architecture, Northwest England, UK, design by OMI Architects

16 May 2016

Exchange Greengate Residential Building

Tallest Residential Building in Salford

Design: OMI Architects

AQ Investments Ltd. get the green light for EXCHANGE COURT Salford

A scheme for 349 apartments was approved by Salford City Council’s Planning Committee.

AQ Investment Ltd. of Manchester is the developer.

The site is within the Greengate/Exchange quarter of Salford, close to Manchester City centre.

The scheme was designed by OMI Architects.

Exchange Greengate Building

AQ Investments, “We are highly delighted that Salford City Council have approved our plans Exchange Court. This is a significant development of high quality which will have a positive impact upon the local community and continue to regenerate this key part of the City Centre.

OMI Architects, “Exchange Court is, in many ways, a demonstration of our evolving approach to repairing Cities and bringing new life to tired and unloved environments. The scale of Exchange Court has been an interesting challenge, particularly as we are working in a very sensitive historic quarter of the city.

Exchange Court is really a progression from our other major urban developments such as the nearby 31 storey One Greengate apartment building, which is nearing completion, our 490 apartment Wilburn Basin scheme, currently under construction and the 330 apartment Alto scheme on Trinity Way, Salford which completed at the end of 2014.

The OMI studio, in the converted Manchester Baths, is just round the corner from Exchange Court and it is especially gratifying to be able to influence our City, and in particular the immediate surroundings we experience on a daily basis.

Over time we’ve developed a flexible model for high quality, residential buildings that still allow large structures to work within and contribute to the street scene of our cities. On Exchange Court we have been able to combine this with the considerable construction expertise of AQ Investements.”

Exchange Court Tallest residential tower in Salford

OMI Architects

OMI Architects are leading experts in the PRS sector and have designed a significant number of apartment schemes in and around Manchester city centre.

-ECP Chapel Street, Salford, 375 PRS Apartments (Planning Approval granted March 2016)
-Wilburn Basin, Salford [491 Apartments] (under construction)
-No 1 Greengate, Salford [497 Apartments] (under construction)
-Alto, Trinity Way, Salford [327 Apartments] (completed 2013)
-Spectrum, Blackfriars Road, Salford [580 Apartments] (completed 2009)


The development is next to the River Irwell and comprises a total of 349 residential units, 475 m2 of residents communal facilities, three levels of basement car parking and a private landscaped terrace and roof garden. A new public route which occupies 15 % of the Exchange Court site area is included within the application to allow access to the River side.

The scheme is located in the historical heart of Salford (13th century market square), within the Greengate area, to the north of the existing Abito residential building. The site is bounded by Trinity Way to the North, and Greengate (street) to the south.

Construction is due to commence in Summer 2016.

Historic maps of the application site from 1850 show that a range of uses including a Hat works occupied the site. Greengate continued to be associated with the manufacture of textiles throughout the 20th Century; however by 1930 the Greengate area was in a state of decline and declared a slum.

Following the Second World War, much of the area was redeveloped for large scale industry and manufacturing. The remains of this development are still evident today. Following gradual decline of the area during the 1970s and the 1980s, Greengate became occupied by low-grade industrial uses.


The Exchange Greengate Development Framework was prepared under a joint commission by Salford City Council, developers and landowners, which began in 2004. The vision for the site sought to fundamentally reconnect the historic cores of Salford and Manchester with improved physical links, a network of high quality public realm extending from Manchester’s Cathedral Quarter and the creation of a new urban fabric of high quality and high density mixed use development.

An accompanying Planning Guidance document was subsequently developed and approved by Salford City Council in 2007 to give further guidance to landowners and developers in the area.

A large public park is proposed and improved connections between Greengate and Manchester City Centre. The building heights envisaged range between 4 and 40 storeys, with the taller buildings placed to the edges of Greengate along the river and Trinity Way.

Exchange Court Tallest residential building in Salford

The plan layout of the development is generated by the existing street pattern the Greengate Regeneration strategy and the desire to reinstate lost street frontages along Greengate and Trinity Way.

The river frontage is also reinforced by establishing a new route that links the river front to Greengate and helps to eliminate what is currently an undesirable and unsafe area immediately adjacent to the Trinity Way underpass.

The scheme consists of two primary forms which serve two different purposes. The largest element is a 44 storey rectilinear point block.

The position of this block on the site was driven by its orientation. By placing the longest elevation of the tower adjacent to Trinity Way the majority of apartments within the building receive direct sunlight at some point during the day and also benefit from south facing views out across the city.

The slender proportions of the tower are exploited by this orientation with the slim gable elevations to the east and west facing directly the directions of approach along Trinity Way – two of the key views of the proposals.

Significantly, the lower block responds to the height of the neighbouring Abito block by stepping back away from the street by 1.5m at the approximate roof level of Abito. This step back also ties in with a similar treatment on the proposed Norton Court scheme and it is the intention that an ‘Abito height horizon’ is maintained by both Norton Court and Exchange Court which adds to the feeling of continuity along Greengate.

The building creates a strong perimeter to the urban block. This in turn provides containment to a generous public landscaped walkway connecting to the River Irwell. The recently approved Norton Court proposals, despite the intentions laid out in the Greengate Regeneration Strategy made no concession to the access to the River and so the intended route has had to be catered for entirely within the Exchange Court applicants site.

The scale and massing of the development reflects the aspirations of Salford’s Greengate Planning Guidance. This is a prominent site located directly within the influence of Manchester’s City Centre. There are a number of significant structures proximate to the site including the Tempus Tower (64m high), Premier In (79m high), Spectrum Apartments (42m high) ,Abito Apartments (38m high) and One Greengate (89m high). The recent Norton Court planning approval on the adjacent site will be approximately 110m high when constructed.

The use of a mono-chrome brick to the lower portions of the street facade conveys a robust base to the building. This has a dialogue with the nearby Victoria Viaduct, which also influenced OMI’s selection of the brick base of the Spectrum and One Greengate schemes.

The brickwork conveys a civic quality appropriate to the city centre street scene setting. It also sets the development apart from the red brick and faience detailing of the retained Victorian buildings, particularly on the Manchester side of the river, thus marking a clear step-change away from the area’s industrial past.

The height of the tower precludes the use of brickwork. This is seen as an opportunity to build upon the formal differences between the tower and the lower block by providing further contrast in their materiality. As such the proposal is to clad the tower in unitised glass panels which will give the mass of the tower a degree of lightness and limit any notion of it being overbearing.

At Exchange Court, the unitised system will include metal panels to create solid elements in the façade, but the external face of the panels will be overlaid with glass. In this way, whether the façade is window or solid, the external face will always by glass. The metal panels set behind the glass will be coloured and reflective.

The panels will also be set at angles to the façade and in some cases folded. The manipulation of these panels will create changing light conditions on the façade which will give the uniform elevation some animation as the sun moves around the building. It is envisaged that the building will appear to ‘shimmer’ as the sun hits the elevation.

Exchange Court Greengate – Architects Context

Related projects by OMI Architects:

Wilburn Basin, Salford building:
Wilburn Basin Salford

Wilburn Basin, Salford building

Spectrum, Salford building:
Spectrum, Salford

Spectrum, Salford building

No 1 Greengate, Salford building:
No 1 Greengate, Salford building

No 1 Greengate, Salford

Alto Salford building:
Alto Salford building

Alto, Salford

ECP Chapel Street, Salford building:
ECP Chapel Street, Salford building

ECP Chapel Street, Salford

Exchange Greengate Residential Tower – Building Information

Site area: 0.18ha
Accommodation: 349 apartments

Dwelling Mix:
One Bedroom: 48no. (14 %)
Two Bedroom: 268no. (77%)
Three Bedroom: 29no. (8%)
Luxury Penthouses: 4no. (1%)

83no. spaces inc;
5no. accessible spaces
98no. cycle spaces

Materials: Monochrome brick to the base of the buildings
Unitised glass panels with integrated metal panels

Exchange Greengate Residential Building Salford images / information from OMI Architects

Location: Greengate, Salford, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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