In Focus – Ian Simpson & Rachel Haugh

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing ‘the man and woman who created Manchester’s skyline’ – Ian Simpson and Rachel Haugh, the duo behind renowned architects practice SimpsonHaugh. Since 1987 Ian and Rachel’s designs have graced skylines across the Northwest region with a prominent focus on Manchester city centre.

We thought who better to give their insight and opinions on the future of property development, the scale and pace or regeneration and the exciting future ahead of the Northwest – than a pair who’s contribution has been driving the region forward for over 30 years.

At Scene we know that behind every new residential tower, office block, industrial park or street scene are real people – like Ian and Rachel making it happen. We believe vision and conviction combined with Ian and Rachel’s shared design belief that ‘innovative architectural thought has the power to shape and transform our cities,’ is what’s had such a lasting influence on Manchester and the region as a whole.

Photography: Scene


Talking about the purpose of regeneration across cities, Ian discusses creating a ‘beautiful, attractive city where people want to live, work and play,’ and how investment ultimately brings in a wealth of jobs and with that comes a sense of security for citizens, which is the underlying purpose of regeneration. It’s not just about bricks and mortar, steel and concrete, each new project means investment, jobs, homes, parks, public spaces and businesses – breathing new life into local communities and bringing new opportunities.

Rachel adds that Manchester is thought of as the ‘capital of the region,’ and has set the tone of the Northwest while also allowing the surrounding boroughs to establish their own identities within this hub. Manchester acts as a strong powerful core which has created a ripple affect amongst the surrounding towns.

Across the North new design standards are being set and the scale and pace of development is like nothing we’ve seen before.

We’re excited to see what the future holds for the Northwest and more of Ian and Rachels schemes across our skylines.

Photography: Scene

Pull-out quotes:

Rachel Haugh

“It’s a fantastic interrelationship of the public and private sector that really should be celebrated, because it’s particularly special to Manchester and the region. The real strength is the stability and continuity of the civic and political leadership that we’ve had here in the North West.”

Ian Simpson

“I think quality of public space, quality of built form, and quality of space that people can occupy, whether in a residential or commercial environment, are fundamental… to embrace investment and change.”

You can see more from SimpsonHaugh here.