New Residential Towers in Manchester Leverage Aleris 55HX®

Architecture is alive and well in Manchester, which is known for its diversity, mixing Victorian houses with modern buildings. Two projects consisting of residential complexes using Aleris 55HX® give additional evidence of the city’s audacious architecture.

Each design requires the use of plain aluminum for the wall cladding, in the form of 4mm thick perforated panels. This material is provided by Aleris, the sole supplier that can ensure anodizing surface quality for thickness above 3mm. For both projects, ninety tons of 55HX® sheets are needed.


An ambitious project demands a robust material: Owen Street Towers

 The project includes four residential towers (pictured left) providing 1,500 apartments and exclusive penthouses.     The main tower, at more than 200m in height, will be the tallest building in the U.K. outside London. The façade is   made of modules including glazed and spandrel units with inward opening vents. External perforated     55HX® aluminum sheets in 4mm thickness, 25µm dark grey anodized, are used in order to dim the sunlight.




Attractive street frontage for the Exchange Court Tower

Close to Manchester City center, the Exchange Court Tower (pictured below) will have 350 apartments along with three levels of a basement providing 88 parking spaces. Positioned at the lower levels, resident’s facilities will provide animation to the street frontage. The façade is cladded in seamless glazed curtain walling with gold colored reflective panels set behind, intended to act as a sunscreen. Perforated panels of 55HX® aluminum in 25µm gold anodized are needed to fulfill the design requirements.


The key to success: a trust-based collaboration

The 55HX® alloy has to go through various processing steps before it can be used for the actual construction. First perforated by Gatti & Precorvi, the panels are then locally anodized in the U.K. For façade builder Focchi, the choice of Aleris was natural, given their history of successful collaboration. Confidence in the product quality is also proven by a continued partnership with Gatti & Precorvi on a current project at Gare d’Auteuil in Paris.

“We realized the design and manufacture of the wall cladding system in collaboration with Gatti & Precorvi for
the machining and perforation of the 55HX® sheets. We were both extremely satisfied with the material’s combined properties: easy to perforate, it also keeps an optimized tensile strength and flatness.”

— Roberta Felici, Communication & Marketing Manager at Focchi.


The upcoming residential towers in Manchester demonstrate the advantages of using Aleris 55HX® for external architectural applications. In particular, the following qualities are essential to ensure both style and comfort of the buildings:

• 55HX® is plain aluminum with an A1 European classification for fire safety
• Anodizing quality, for a better UV, scratching and corrosion-resistant material
• Color uniformity

Discover other reasons to choose our 55HX® for your next design project.  Click here to see more case studies and download our reference book to find out about the use of aluminum 55HX® in architectural applications.