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Capital&Centric and HBD: On the Dutch influence behind Kampus

Co-creators Adam Higgins at Capital&Centric and Adam Brady at HBD tell us about why they chose Dutch architects Mecanoo to design Kampus.

“There are some great architects in Manchester, but we felt that everything that was going up in the city looked the same” says Higgins. “Kampus is so central, so high profile, so unique that we were determined to do something different that would stand out. We’re right on the canal, which got us thinking about other places that have nailed canal-side living, so we started googling Dutch architects. That’s how we ended up with Mecanoo.”

He continues: “We wanted to emulate the quirkiness of the buildings on Canal Street next door, which have a really Dutch vibe, and we took inspiration from places like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. We wanted to create a more intimate environment, like European cities where you can be walking down a tiny street and discover a beautiful, hidden square.

Brady adds: “We also went out to the States but for totally different reasons. At the time no one in the UK was really doing purpose-built, single ownership rental schemes so we went to Chicago to see how they do it. The Americans might not be known for their design and architecture, but they do get the nuts and bolts of the service right.”

He continues: “Mecanoo created something unlike anything else Manchester has to offer. It’ll be a proper community full of character and diversity and with five beautiful, individual buildings there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. Whether you want modern, minimal new build; exposed concrete and waffle ceilings in the 1960s tower; a restored Victorian warehouse with big beautiful windows or a Dutch House in our rooftop village – it’s up to you!”.


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