Trafford Design Code


Tall Buildings

Design codes for commercial, residential and mixed use buildings over 6 stories


In the right locations tall buildings can make an important contribution towards delivering new homes and high quality placemaking, often offering excellence in design and providing an opportunity to build to higher densities around public transport nodes. However, a poorly designed tall building can seriously harm the character and identity of a place and the value of important views.

Tall buildings break into the scale, rhythm and grain of the urban form in a way that other buildings do not. Principal failings with tall buildings are often a lack of understanding of context, a failure to demonstrate neighbourliness, the tendency to create too many single aspect apartments especially with a northerly aspect, and to access too many apartments from a single core.


While the design decisions made in taller buildings differ from smaller scale proposals it is essential that these developments are imbued with the same approach to design quality, materiality and style set out elsewhere in this document.


For tall apartment buildings refer to the ‘Apartment’ chapter and for tall non-residential or commercial buildings, applicants must also refer to the ‘Non-Residential and Commercial’ chapter. This tall building chapter only focuses on the implications of height in the design of new development. 

Features of tall buildings

  • Slender form comprising a base, middle and top
  • Well-articulated facades
  • Double height active ground floor frontage
  • Elegance, proportionality and verticality
  • Appropriate landscaped setting
  • High quality contextually appropriate materials

Tall Buildings Case Studies

Photograph of the Excelsior Works building in Manchester

Excelsior Works

Excelsior Works by Tim Groom Architects for Mulbury City The building occupies a pronounced location on the corner of Hulme Hall Road and converges upon

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Keybridge House

Keybridge House by Chapman Taylor and Allies and Morrison for Mount Anvil The concept design, by architects Allies and Morrison, includes a rich mix of

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Dockley Apartments

Dockley Apartments by Studio Woodroffe Papa for Matching Green Ltd The redevelopment of the Dockley Road Industrial Estate is part of a wider scheme transforming the railway

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ARC, Sydney

ARC, Sydney by Koichi Takada Architects for Crown Group Arc is made up of two 26-storey, 80-meter high towers. The mixed-useA well-integrated mix of different

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Clapham One

Clapham One by Studio Egret West The 12-storey building is formed of a series of curved, white masonry volumes that are articulated to break down

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Hale Wharf

Hale Wharf by Allies and Morrison for Muse Developments and Canal and River Trust Situated on a slender island on the River Lea, this project

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Kingsland Road, London

Kingsland Road by Henley Halebrown for Thornsett This project combines an 11-storey apartment building providing 68 affordable homes and a 350-pupil primary school, with shops

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Manhattan Loft Gardens

Manhattan Loft Gardens by SOM The 42-story building makes a dramatic impression, with two diagonal slices carved out of the tower and residential levels cantilevered

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Egham Gateway

Egham Gateway master plan by Allford Monaham Morris Egham Gateway is a new mixed use development in the Runnymede borough of Surrey. Four mixed use

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Botanica Apartments

Botanica Apartments by Tim Groom Architects The site occupies a highly prominent location alongside the Bridgewater Way, a major arterial road running south west from

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125 Deansgate

125 Deansgate by Glenn Howells Architects A strikingly crafted 12-storey office building on a key Manchester thoroughfare, 125 Deansgate learns from the architectural ambition of

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