Birmingham architect Glenn Howells has won a competition to design a model for 21st-century living. The scheme is to be built by housebuilder Urban Splash at its Britannia Basin site in central Manchester.

Howells was chosen from a shortlist of six in a competition that was sponsored by English Heritage and judged by a panel chaired by Lord Rogers.

Urban Splash will start construction on the 85 apartments this summer, with marketing set to start in the autumn.

The five other shortlisted architects, which each receive £2000, are David Kirby Architects, Novo Architects, ARCA, Huld, and Rotterdam-based Group for Architecture.

Urban Splash director Nick Johnson said Howells had fulfilled the brief by designing a new vision for housing that was capable of being mass produced.

Construction elements are kept to a minimum to achieve a cost of £120/m2. This allows the housebuilder to offer a wide range of high-quality fixtures and fittings with each apartment.

The design of the one- or two-bedroom apartments allows “flexible living”, with wooden dividing shutters that can be adjusted to alter the layout of rooms.

All rooms will be a little over 5 m high – double usual room height – and will have mezzanine floors.