Project timelines can often take years of scoping and development and none the least was the effort and commitment taken by Hardscape with this particular project managing to secure the material supply to Peel Park Campus, University of Salford in 2010 following a visit to the Kellen manufacturer in Holland with the design team.

The hard landscape design and layout was designed by the Landscape Architect and project Masterplanning organisation Aecom Manchester and specifically Mr Tom Jonson. The design-aesthetics of Amsterdam Science University, in particular, caught the design team’s eye and incorporated that project as a design reference on the journey to its final completion in 2016.

The visit was crucial in order to understand the production process of the innovative products and to visit completed projects to gain valuable perceptions of how the products would ultimately look and perform.

The new campus has at its focal point a fibre glass statue of Friedrich Engels. The German radical, who founded Marxism with Karl Marx, lived and worked in Salford in the 19th century and the pair regularly drank together in the nearby Crescent Pub. The innovative sculpture shows the social scientist’s head and distinctive large bushy beard – also allowing people to climb to a viewing tower.

The brief

The detailed design for the Students accommodation part was completed by Gillespies (Manchester). The detailed design for the Gateway and Adelphi Creative Arts building was completed by DEP landscape architecture (Manchester). For the internals of the Gateway and Adelphi Creative Arts building – Stride Treglown (Manchester).

The contractor for all aspects of the project was BAM (Manchester).

The team wanted materials that were rich in texture and colour and could offer variable unit sizes to reveal clear areas of direction and function. The innovative Kellen paving and steps offered this choice which also had to complement and accommodate the installation of the five-metre-tall sculpture of the social philosopher, Friedrich Engels’ head and beard commissioned by The University Art Collection to Salford-based arts production company Engine, led by artist Jai Redman. The design team also chose to incorporate Kellen material as wall cladding to the futuristic new Adelphi Creative Arts building so that the pattern could continue to look like it was flowing up the wall.

Hardscape worked intrinsically to produce schedules and production drawings to cover the complex detailing of 12,000m2 of paving and bespoke benches.

Materials used

Hardscape supplied a total area of 12,000m2 of Kellen Lavaro mix of 50/200×200/600x80mm Wit, Zwart, Grijs and Rood paving and Kellen Lavaro Wit 701 steps with Crystal Black granite inserts. This was a complex range of Kellen materials used in different patterns together with Kobra granite edgings, Kobra and Poppy granite seating, Kobra granite copings and Royal White granite walling units with internal Crystal Black, Royal White and Cloudy White granites so ultimately the logistics and production processes had to be accurate to ensure materials were delivered on-site at the right time.

The end result

The whole landscape scheme injects colour and interest into the acres of space while being robust enough to withstand the heavy pedestrian flows. The choice of landscape materials and furniture deliver a cohesive across-campus identity that promotes ease of journeying to and from lectures for the students and lecturers alike.

The new public realm has been designed to create strong destinations within campus, that connect to surrounding areas, identifying and strengthening campus anchors and creating public places with a diverse variety of uses.

The surrounding landscape provides a balance of soft and hard surfacing, responding to the arrangement of the built form and how the open spaces between the residential blocks are accessed.

Hardscape worked hand in hand with all members of the design team to execute their design brief with the results proving a wonderful and exhilarating space for all to enjoy and depicting a scheme that celebrates every aspect of the ethos and ‘DNA’ of Hardscape’s team, professionalism and commitment to deliver on time, every time.