The Mancunian way acts as a permanent and complete structure of multiple layers that creates negative and positive spaces. All these layers act independently to one another, with very few points of true intersection and connection. How do we connect the different layers of Mancunian way together, specifically the top and bottom, changing the way urban users view and perceive the cityscape? This encourages a shift from the common horizontal experience of the city to a vertical experience, connecting different levels of the city together, at more given points along the site. This will transform user’s engagement and understanding of Manchester city, improving their relationship with the urban-scape.
‘Instead of viewing the Mancunian way as an obstruction to the communities surrounding it; through exploration of horizontal and vertical experience, how can we use it as an aider and enabler to reconnect communities and improve the urban experience?’
The improvement of the urban experience is explored through three main programmes: a visual multimedia gallery, city gardening workshops and lastly provision of mental health services. These programmes work to provide ‘mental refuge’ for the communities of the Mancunian way. Wellbeing and mental health work to bring these broken communities together at the heart of the Mancunian way. The proposal will act as a calming buffer along the Mancunian way, juxtaposing with the fast-pacing cars occupying the two most inner lanes. It signifies the closing chapter to cities being designed for cars only.
The vertical and horizonal plane underpins this design project. It seeks out to explore newer ways to experience not only the Mancunian way but also the wider Manchester city. Verticality and its gestures, provides a broader perception of the city, as it introduces different angles and perspectives for the user to engage with, improving their wellbeing.