17 New Wakefield Street

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Liberty Heights
17 new wakefield 2018.jpg
The tower seen from Oxford Road, Manchester
Former names Student Castle
General information
Status Complete
Type Skyscraper[1]
Location Great Marlborough Street
Greater Manchester
Construction started 2010
Completed September 2012 [2]
Owner Liberty Living
Landlord Liberty Living
Tip 109 metres (358 ft)
Roof 104 metres (341 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 37[3]
Design and construction
Architect Hodder and Partners
Main contractor Shepherd Construction
Allied Developments

Liberty Heights (also known as Wakefield Street Tower,[6] or 17 New Wakefield Street) is a skyscraper apartment building in Manchester, England, west of Oxford Street. 17 New Wakefield Street was designed by local architect Stephen Hodder in a clustered architectural form and was completed in September 2012. The skyscraper is situated adjacent to Oxford Road railway station, on the corner of Great Marlborough Street. The skyscraper is 37 storeys high at a height of 109 metres and is the third tallest building in Manchester after the Beetham Tower and CIS Tower.[7]


Four development schemes were proposed for the site in four years.[8] Plans for a 65-metre residential tower were proposed in 2006 featuring a design similar to the tower being built.[9] However, despite obtaining planning approval, the proposal was abandoned. In December 2009, the project was revived with a plan for a 106-metre residential tower.[8]

A planning application was made in early 2010,[10] and planning consent granted in July 2010.[11] Construction work began weeks after consent was granted.[7] By November 2011, the tower had risen in height considerably, and on 18 April 2012, the tower had its topping out ceremony at a height of 109 metres.[12]


17 New Wakefield Street is a residential development of high rise flats aimed at young people and students. At 109m high it is the tallest, purpose built student accommodation in the world.[13] It is the third tallest building in Manchester by roof height and the joint 43rd tallest nationally. Its apparent height is accentuated slightly by its position on a slope.[8] The tower has some resemblance to the Mathematics Tower which also had a clustered exterior but was controversially demolished by the University of Manchester in 2005.[14]

The project has 525 bedrooms in four stepped towers built on a foot area of 7,000 square feet. Plans for a residents' car park were rejected by planners concerned about the impact of a large building and busy location.[11]


  1. ^ Under the Emporis Standards Committee, a skyscraper is defined as a multi-storey building which is at least 100m. Any building from 35m to 100m tall is generally considered to be a high rise building.
  2. ^ "Great Marlborough Street progress". hodderandpartners. Hodder + Partners. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Manchester Floorplans". Student Castle. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "17 New Wakefield Street". Skyscrapercity. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "17 New Wakefield Street". Emporis. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  6. ^ N.B. It is not in Wakefield Street which is a short street parallel to New Wakefield Street north of the railway viaduct. New Wakefield Street runs from 88 Oxford Street to Great Marlborough Street.
  7. ^ a b "New skyscraper planned for Manchester is also the tallest student accommodation in the UK by 4 floors". Manchester Confidential. 9 August 2010. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Tallest Student Tower Planned In Manchester". skyscrapercity. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "17 New Wakefield Street". skyscrapernews.com. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Allied/Connislow plan Oxford Road landmark". Place North West. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Allied/Connislow's 33-storey tower approved". Place North West. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Sleuth 12/04/2012". Manchester Confidential. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "New Record Student Tower Rises in Manc". skyscrapernews.com. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Student Castle: Good Work Mr Hodder". Manchester Confidential. 27 September 2012. Archived from the original on 11 December 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 

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Coordinates: 53°28′24″N 2°14′30″W / 53.47340°N 2.24177°W / 53.47340; -2.24177