Studio Egret West invites us to explore Mayfield Park, the first new city-centre park to be created in Manchester for over 100 years.
Completed in September 2022, this 6.5-acre “park first” development is part of a wider framework to include approximately 1,500 homes, one million square metres of office space, a 350-bedroom hotel and retail and leisure facilities.
The Park provides a sequence of character spaces connected by a meandering river; the design strikes a careful balance between active usable green spaces for people with natural habitat creation for wildlife.
The scheme is a joint venture between developer LandsecU+I and The Mayfield Partnership, which is made up of regeneration corporation LCR, Manchester City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester.
The landscape is inspired by the site’s history and remaining industrial heritage. A key focus of the hard landscape has been capturing some of the Mancunian qualities of the existing site through restoration and reuse of existing features and materials and regional sourcing.
The River Medlock was previously culverted and almost entirely hidden from view. Uncovering the river was a defining move for our nature-first design approach. Rivers provide important wildlife corridors, and revealing the river unlocked the potential as an important biodiverse habitat. Since the park’s debut in 2022, the river has played a key role in attracting wildlife back to the area.
A naturalistic planting design has been implemented across the park that can adapt to changing climate conditions. This includes sequences of different plant arrangements, planting beds, and grasslands, to create journeys through distinct character spaces.
Planting is mindful of both dry and wet extremes. The plant mixes create a visually striking yet functional landscape that is able to withstand the spectrum of different environments of the site.
Mayfield Park features open lawns, riverside walkways, three new bridges over the River Medlock, play areas and a variety of seating opportunities, ensuring all members of the community have spaces they can visit and enjoy.
“The park ensures that all community members have spaces they can visit and enjoy.”
Web page: https://studioegretwest.com/