Hulme Living Leaf Street Housing by Mecanoo

Affordable housing should also be beautiful and pleasant to live in

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Mecanoo for providing the following description:

“经济适用房是我在80年代创立Mecanoo之际所强调的一个极其重要的论述。经济适用房同样应该是美观而宜居的。尽管我们这些年的关注点有所变化,并探索了许多其他的建筑类型,但经济适用房依然和从前一样重要。当下与未来的问题依然与城市更新有关,而满足社会的需求一直是建筑师的责任所在。” — Francine Houben

“Affordable housing was an extremely important statement of myself back in the 80’s when we started Mecanoo; that affordable housing should also be beautiful and pleasant to live in. Though we changed our focus and mapped many other typologies over the years, affordable housing was and still is as relevant as before. The present and the future is still about urban renewal. It’s the responsibility of the architect to address to the needs in society” – Francine Houben

▼项目概览,project preview ©Greg Holmes Photography


The area around Leaf Street in Hulme, just outside Manchester city centre, has a history of urban renewal. The typical Victorian terraced houses were demolished after World War II to make room for the infamous Hulme Crescents, the largest social housing project in the United Kingdom at the time. In the 1990s, the ‘Crescents’ were demolished and a large part of the neighbourhood redeveloped. Hulme Living on Leaf Street is a fourth generation urban renewal housing development that combines apartments and single-family homes in one building mass.

▼从街道望向住宅综合体,view to the complex from the street ©Greg Holmes Photography




▼轴测图,Leaf Street Housing Axo ©Mecanoo

On the south-eastern side, the plot borders the main access road to the neighbourhood and other buildings from Manchester Metropolitan University. Appropriate to this scale, the residential complex extends to five levels of apartments. The compact building volume meanders across the plot and gradually decreases in scale to the north. The three-storey family houses on this side of the development are on par with the adjacent 1930s dwellings. The brick building acts as a connecting element between the various structures bordering the plot.

▼建筑通过砌砖元素与场地周围的其他建筑形成连接 ©Greg Holmes Photography
the brick building acts as a connecting element between the various structures bordering the plot

▼建筑立面细节,facade detailed view ©Greg Holmes Photography


Public green space


The S-shape of the building creates two semi-enclosed public green spaces. The entrance court is turned to the Hulme Arch Bridge and has the character of a garden square. Facing Leaf Street is a park area where children can play. The public spaces are connected to each other via large gates in the building volume, which also mark the entrances to the apartments.

▼朝向街道的公园绿地,the green area facing the steet ©Greg Holmes Photography

▼公共空间通过建筑中的宽阔大门相互连接 ©Greg Holmes Photography
the public spaces are connected to each other via large gates in the building volume


Many existing trees on the plot were preserved by the elegant shape of the complex. A wide variety of vegetation ensures that residents can experience all different seasons. Cycling paths and footpaths across the plot are connected to the existing infrastructure and informal walkways. This way, the building complex and its surrounding public space form one unified urban plan.

▼穿越场地的自行车道和人行道,cycling paths and footpaths run across the plot ©Greg Holmes Photography

▼场地上的既有树木被保留下来,many existing trees were preserved on the plot ©Greg Holmes Photography

▼夜景,night view ©Greg Holmes Photography

▼平面图,plan ©Mecanoo

▼立面图,elevation ©Mecanoo

Programme: 9,500 m2 residential building with 85 apartments and 20 single-family homes, design of public space and 56 parking spaces
Design: 2014-2015
Realisation: 2016-2018
Client: One Manchester, Manchester, UK
Project management: R-gen, Manchester
Structural engineer: Renaissance, Manchester
Mechanical and electrical engineer: Max Fordham, Manchester
Advisor acoustics: Max Fordham, Manchester
Building costs consultant: Simon Fenton Partnership, Manchester

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