The Mancunian way cuts through the city of Manchester and acts as barrier between the city centre and surrounding communities. It currently transports plenty vehicles every day, however, in future years there might be such a reduction in car use, that there may be an argument for the removal of the highway. To prevent its removal and the energy embodied to do that, and to soften the barrier it creates within the city, I have repurposed the Mancunian Way as an Urban Wetland.
The Mancunian Marshland is an intervention of blue infrastructure along the Mancunium Way. It culminates in large wetland and a mixed use private and public building, providing interaction and understanding between users and the water.
The building houses an educational facility, that provides space for primary school children to explore and learn. This space teaches about the benefits and importance of a scheme like this in helping to improve the well-being of our planet and the city.
The water courses, that once ruled Manchester, are now culverted, ignored and disregarded, I felt I could use water as the key driver within my design, to establish a sense of place. By un-culverting the River Medlock and bring this blue infrastructure back to a city, not only am I addressing the ecological needs of the city but also restoring its histories and identity in parallel to allowing development and growth.
In this project I aim to directly respond to the climate crisis while still providing economic and cultural growth. I am considering sustainability as both an ecological term and as a term of wellbeing for the urban landscape and the users it supports. Here, both the road and the water are championed by a low-rise building, that preserves the Mancunian Way as the ‘highway in the sky’.