A pair of Semi-Detached Houses(Un-mirrored) in Manchester

Year: 2021

Plot area: 287m2 / 3089.2 ft2 

Number of unit: 2 

Unit A:  Three-story, Four-Bedroom house with integrated single carport 

CIA: 116m2/ 1247.8ft2 

Unit B: Two-story, Five-Bedroom house with integrated single garage 

CIA: 168m2/ 1804.3 ft2

Status: Planning Approved 


After 2 rounds intensive pre-planning engagements with a local planner, the LPAs finally agreed that the houses can be built on this piece of brownfield land in Manchester!  We are not only looking toward transforming this wasteland- like plot into happy family homes, but a gateway to lift the spirits of the local community!

The site is located in north-east of Manchester – 15 minutes by car and 21 by bike into the core of the city.

With rents continually creeping up in the city centre,  our clients, a solicitor couple bought this plot at auction in the hope of building their own home-office one day.

After two unsuccessful attempts at getting planning approval, we were invited for a coffee & chat one afternoon…The circumstance have now changed and they wish to build two family homes on the site.

A site-specific design solution and process was employed by us to transform this plot of vacant and unattractive land into a charming and happy space.

The three key points below were noted after initial walk around:

1. Establish Focal point and Gateway

Abutting a vacant land at the end of street,  the site is situated adjacent to the end of a road junction and a major crossroad to the south-west.

After researching the drainage lines around the area we learnt that the abutting vacant land was very likely to remain empty as it is where a large wastewater detention tank is buried.

Therefore, the proposed new build is to be ambitiously established as the focal point; a gateway that would bring joy and pride to the local community.

2. Form a second frontage (western frontage) 

To form an attractive and active gable end as the second frontage to the new build.

The second frontage (western façade) is subject to overcome the overbearing nature of the existing large and unattractive gable end at rear of the site and to dominate the street view in a charming and inviting way.

3. Design for diversity in  urban living and  land usage efficiencies 

Instead of adopting a convenient and mirrored semi detached house layout, we have designed two units with different features to meet the diversity of urban living needs.

For instance the arrangement of Unit 1 reflects a layout of a traditional English terrace house which provides very compact but efficient space for fast paced modern and urban families.

Arrangement of the site layout also reflects efficiencies in the use of this urban plot.