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Is The Public Realm for NOMA Site Representing the Future of Sustainable Eco-cities?

Public Realm for NOMA site

Public Realm for NOMA Site, by Mecanoo, in Manchester, United Kingdom. NOMA represents a 20-acre regeneration of Manchester’s urban land which is owned by The Co-operative Group and Hermes Real Estate. This area is not only for living but also for the work, creativity, recreation and entertainment. Receiving the award for the highest-ever BREEAM rating of 95.32 %. It creates a new image for the city center of Manchester with a complete reconstruction and mixed-purpose neighborhood.

Public Realm for NOMA Site

The site is located on the northern fringe of Manchester’s city center, bounded by Angel Street to the north, Rochdale Road to the east, and Miller Street to the south. This public space around the Co-operative Group’s new headquarters on Angel Square – one of the world’s most sustainable buildings – was designed by Mecanoo.

Public Realm for NOMA Site. Photo courtesy of Mecanoo.

Public Realm for NOMA Site. Photo courtesy of Mecanoo.

It includes: public realm (8 hectares), a square with 60 percent green space (0.8 hectares), a courtyard for commercial purposes (0.5 hectares), and Arkwright Mill Garden (0.7 hectares). The location connects the city center to its largest park. The overall master plan seeks to generate a high-density, high-quality mixed-use neighborhood providing a variety of residential and business accommodations. More Articles Featuring Mecanoo:

Focus on Sustainable Design

The architects focused on sustainability when they designed this space. Even the placement of surrounding buildings was selected very carefully. The whole space undulates, creating various smaller forms of landscape. Planted around these forms are trees, shrubs, and grasses that shape the whole space. Between them are lines that provide walkways through the space. Benches and seats in stainless steel and iroko wood line the pedestrian walkways.

Public Realm for NOMA Site. Image courtesy of Mecanoo.

Public Realm for NOMA Site. Image courtesy of Mecanoo.

The Ventilation Shafts The most important parts of this square are the three ventilation shafts that are several meters above ground level. They provide natural ventilation for the building’s indoor climate system. The central part of the square is called Angel Gardens. The concept for the garden is derived from the woven form of the building’s elevation, hearkening back to Manchester’s history as a center for cotton production. During the day, people can visit café terraces and facilities, but the space is closed in the evening.There is also a large, rolling lawn within the center of the space, with a mosaic of ornamental flowerbeds, clipped shrubs, and low hedges. Materials used for paving are granite and precast concrete.
Public Realm for NOMA Site. Image courtesy of Mecanoo.

Public Realm for NOMA Site. Image courtesy of Mecanoo.

Modeling With the Wind Plants – mostly cedar and pine — are laid out so that they mitigate the effect of the wind. In addition, the trees were also selected for their appropriateness and tolerance to unique locations and conditions, offering a rich palette of colors throughout the year. The LED lighting was designed in a way that minimizes any spill into the surrounding areas.
Public Realm for NOMA Site. Image courtesy of Mecanoo.

Public Realm for NOMA Site. Image courtesy of Mecanoo.

Setting the standard for best practices in sustainable building design, operation, and construction has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognized measures of a building’s environmental performance. This project was really a challenge, but the designers managed to create an ecological oasis in the heart of a modern city. It is important to create such spaces, precisely because they represent the future of sustainable eco-cities. Recommended Reading:

Article by Amela Djurakovac Return to Homepage

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