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Corridor Manchester Design Competition

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Setting an Agenda for Future Design Proposals for Oxford Road

This is a design competition for collaborating teams of MA students, and professionals to develop innovative and deliverable design proposals for two problem sites on Oxford Road.
Premise –
• Decisions on funding for the bus corridor in Oxford Road will be made in the near future
• Once the decisions are made there is likely to be a tight timetable for delivery and little time for reflection on options for difficult sites.
• There are two such difficult sites that need resolution if Oxford Road is to fulfil its potential.

o the Underpass under the Mancunian Way
o the Gateway area of confused pedestrian walkways, entrances and cycleways between Whitworth Park and Contact Theatre and including the pedestrian walkways both sides of Oxford Road, the entrances to Whitworth Park, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the new Eye Hospital Development and Contact Theatre, and the area in front of the existing shopping parade on Western side of Oxford Road between Denmark Street and Contact Theatre.

• Both of these sites are opinion forming entrance nodes on what should be one of the primary cultural destinations within Manchester.
• At present neither is living up to its potential.
• People are not encouraged to explore.
• The perception is that the area between these nodes is only offering local services rather than hosting such important learning and cultural resources :

Facilitating free and fluid movement towards and between all venues and attractions is a vital part of enabling the Corridor to fulfil its potential.
Once funding decisions are made there may well be an urgent rush to get finance committed and spent and opportunities for innovation may well be lost, hence our interest in progressing proposals now.

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