Proposals for Manchester Metropolitan University will see existing 1970s buildings partially demolished

Plans by Hawkins Brown for a £90m library building for Manchester Metropolitan University are set to be given the go ahead this week.

The 13-storey scheme has been recommended for approval by Manchester council’s planning officers ahead of a planning committee meeting on Thursday.

The proposals would see the partial demolition of the university’s existing All Saints Library and the construction of a low-carbon replacement containing just over 22,000 sq m of floorspace.

Hawkins Brown MMU library 2

The scheme will run across 13 storeys

Library specialist Schmidt Hammer Larsen is working with Hawkins Brown on the plans, with Turner & Townsend on board as project manager alongside planning consultant Deloitte and cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald.

Planit IE is also on the team as landscape architect, and Buro Happold has multiple roles including structural and civil engineer, facade engineer, MEP engineer, fire engineer and transport consultant.

Located on a 0.67ha site in the south of the city centre, close to Bruntwood SciTech’s £850m Circle Square development, the scheme is aiming to be a centre piece and a “front door” for the university’s Oxford Road campus.

It has been designed to have a “highly distinctive” silhouette with a ‘ribbon’ on its facade featuring a pattern of brightly coloured circular windows, according to Hawkins Brown.

The building will house around 3,800 study seats, a range of event spaces, bookable rooms, a prayer facility, wellbeing spaces, office space for library staff and 9,000 “linear metres” of books.

Its ground floor will also include a separate poetry library, a gallery, an innovation lab, a cafe, and a learning centre.

The 1970s All Saints Library and neighbouring All Saints Building would be cut in two under the plans, with the latter to be totally demolished and the former to be stripped back to its core and covered with a new facade.