ducie court, manchester

Ducie Court is located to the south of Manchester city centre on the corner of Denmark Road and Burleigh Street, at the South end of the higher education precinct.

Ducie Court provides 614 (Phase I – 246, Phase II – 368) student bedrooms all contained within 113 cluster apartments. The residential blocks not only relate to their immediate neighbours and buildings located in the vicinity but also to each other. Three nine storey blocks generate a rhythm along Denmark Road and open up the development forming a dialogue with the park whilst still creating a series of courtyards within the site evoking a traditional collegiate arrangement.

The use of a stretcher bonded red brick has a strong resonance with the area, particularly with the Whitworth Art Gallery and the former Manchester Eye Hospital. Although providing some historic continuity the brickwork aims to provide a more contemporary architectural expression responding to the functional nature of the internal spaces.

Highly glazed common rooms are expressed at the corner of each block, solar gain being mitigated by louvres held within an expressed structural frame, and are a counterpoint to the solidarity of the expression to the study bedrooms within the blocks

Light grey rendered panels are set within the brickwork lattice to provide contrast with the solidity of the brickwork and define the modular expression of each bedroom. The render also provides a lightweight expression around the articulated corners that accentuates the depth and layering of materials.

An important element of the scheme is the landscaped courtyards created by the arrangement of the residential blocks. This provides the residents with private amenity spaces as well as cycle storage and car parking facilities. The courtyards are permeable rather than fully contained to create a flowing space between all the blocks.