Downing appoints KKA to lead the interiors team at its £400m First Street co-living scheme in Manchester, where work is underway at the site. The selection process saw five architecture and interior design companies pitch, with KKA’s interiors team (KKAI) chosen as its proposed concept aligned with Downing’s long-term vision of the scheme, whilst paying homage to the site’s rich heritage.
KKA will be responsible for the interior design of 2,224 co-living bedrooms and amenity space across three new towers rising to 45 storeys. KAA will also work alongside architects SimpsonHaugh and landscape consultant Optimised Environments (OPEN) to deliver a community-centric public realm for the whole neighbourhood.
“The whole team is tremendously pleased to have been appointed to this important, transformational scheme in the heart of Manchester, which will be our largest mixed-use scheme to date.
“The interiors team at KKA are excited at the prospect of pushing the boundaries of this project to deliver a first-class, inspiring development for the end user. Sitting on the site of the historic gasworks, First Street comes with a tremendous amount of heritage, and we plan to pay homage to this throughout our designs.”Nicola Ball, Associate Interior Designer at KKA
The First Street development will create an urban residential village in the heart of Manchester, offering prime city centre living in an affordable, social environment. The scheme will deliver over 2,224 bedrooms – a mix of private studios to five-bedroom apartments. Alongside indoor amenities, First Street will include 17,000 sq ft of commercial leisure, F&B and retail space.
The scheme will include a hectare of new landscaped public park and landscaped gardens – over half of which will be accessible to the general public. 140 new trees and commercial units will also open directly onto this greenspace, which boosts biodiversity, improves air quality and the wellbeing of residents and the wider community of First Street and neighbouring areas.
“First Street is a really important project for everyone at Downing, but also for everyone in Manchester. We are delighted to be regenerating such an important plot of land in the heart of Manchester’s city centre.
“Our ambition for the scheme is to create a community-centric neighbourhood for residents to thrive. We believe that having great outdoor space will be at the heart of this, not only for aesthetic purposes but becoming a haven for residents to soak up the outdoors and to meet and socialise with friends and family.”Andy Thomas, Operations Director at Downing