VITA First Street, Manchester
The first new-build Vita Student in the UK

Client
VITA & Carillion

Overview
Location: Manchester
Value: £13 million
Size: 279 Studios
Service: Architecture & Interiors
Typology: Residential

Photography: Adrian Lambert & Simon Buckley

Awards
2015 Insider, Urban Residential Development of the Year, Finalist
2015 Surface Design Award, Commercial Exterior Surface, Finalist
2015 Design Curial, UK’s Most Luxurious Halls of Residence, Winner

Vita Student is a luxury serviced accommodation development that offers private living for a growing number of international and post-graduate students studying at the universities of Manchester. This is the first new-build Vita Student in the UK.

The building forms part of the First Street Masterplan which provides a new home for the Cornerhouse and Library theatres a 4 star hotel, a 700 space car park, associated restaurants and bars and a generous public realm.

The building provides 279 studios and communal areas over 11 storeys. Each self-contained studio has luxury facilities and fittings, creating a living environment similar to a long stay hotel.

Generous leisure space supports the residential use, providing break-out space for residents to socialise and interact, complete with the latest technology and entertainment systems.

The typical plan has 28 studios accessed from a single core and central corridor. Corridors and lift lobbies have full height glazing to maximise daylight and views of the city centre. The studio, structural and facade modules coordinate to create a rational perimeter.

Meticulous fire engineering and careful design considerations accomplished a central, single stair, single core configuration. Minimising internal partition zones and structural columns all contribute to the effort to drive floor plate efficiency.

The floor to floor height was engineered and coordinated to minimise the overall height of the building bringing it under the threshold for sprinklers and increased fire protection measures.

The façade references the strong linear and diagonal geometry of the VITA branding. The introduction of a diagonal element allows the highly repetitive internal arrangement to be camouflaged by a dynamic arrangement of geometric  components. The materials are warm toned and harmonious with the adjacent context, contributing a distinctive character to establish First Street as a place. The appearance changes with the equally dynamic Manchester light and weather.

External brise soleil amplify aspects of the grid and hint at the originating motif. With a rich colour palette, and subtle changes to the texture, finish, reflectance and transparency, the facade becomes animated, vibrant and diverse. It regularly changes with light and shade, day and night providing a sense of movement.

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