Spectrum is a major 600-apartment development in the Greengate quarter of Salford, close to Manchester’s City Centre and across the road from OMI’s studio. It is one of the first of a generation of developments in the North West that seeks to address how high-density housing can be successfully integrated into our city centres whilst respecting the historic street pattern and context. Spectrum provides a model for city centre apartment living, placing an emphasis on the creation of tranquil communal courtyard spaces that provide sanctuary from the surrounding streets and give access into each of the separate apartment buildings.
Spectrum was awarded ‘Best Apartment of the Year” in the Manchester Evening News Property Awards. The success of Spectrum has had a profound influence on OMI’s subsequent work, particularly in the PRS sector.
The scheme consists of a dense group of residential/commercial buildings which re-define street edges and form a series of attractive green courtyard spaces within. The courtyards enhance a sense of community, where neighbours can the pass the time of day and get to know each other.
The issue of orientation also played a significant role. The alignment of buildings ensures that no apartments are without sunlight and that maximum sun penetration is received into the landscaped courtyards.
High-rise rectilinear blocks are juxtaposed against more sculptural lower buildings that respond to the geometry generated by the triangular site. There is an underlying order to the development as a whole. However, the perception from the surrounding streets is of an intriguing composition made up of an apparently complex assembly of buildings, which present a broken skyline and continually changing vistas.