Photography by Katie O'Neill
New Islington Town Houses
'Chips' - one of the most significant buildings in New Islington
Tom was born in Hampshire in 1963, leaving there in 1983 to study Politics and Modern History at the University of Manchester. He sold fire extinguishers door-to-door and then opened a music and poster shop in Afflecks Palace, before subletting portions of his unit and so beginning his career in property. Tom co-founded Urban Splash with architect Jonathan Falkingham in 1993 and initially converted redundant properties, mainly formerly industrial buildings into city centre residential loft apartments. Urban Splash - whose HQ is based in Manchester - is responsible for development projects across much of the country.
In 2016, Tom and co-founder Jonathan launched ‘House by Urban Splash’ an award winning modular housing concept which is being rolled out across a number of UK cities. 'House' is created using modern methods of construction and modern design to create sustainable homes and communities... these homes can be tailored to suit the owner's way of life.
New Islington - the re-generation of the derelict area of inner city Manchester, is one of Tom’s proudest achievements with the creation of several new villages of modern affordable housing in a thriving green and characterful neighbourhood.
New Islington Marina
New Islington is a very special place in Manchester city centre; 20 years in the making it is now rated as one of the top ten best places to live in the UK by the Sunday Times. We’re proud of its rich history, the amazing marina, the OFSTED outstanding school plus Pollen bakery and Cask ale bar – Urban Splash
Urban Splash regeneration projects
In 1999 Tom was awarded an MBE for Services to Architecture and Urban Regeneration and was elected Chancellor of the University of Manchester in 2008 for a seven year office. He also upholds a number of other positions including; Chairman of Manchester International Festival, and trustee of Tate, the Manchester United Foundation and The Bloxham Charitable Trust.
THE SHOOT: Urban Splash HQ, Manchester
The company's Timber Wharf & Box Works developments in Castlefield provided the backdrop for the photography
Student reflection: Katie O'Neill
Working with Tom Bloxham on the project was an amazing opportunity to test my photographic skills and develop my ability to interact with new people in an industry setting. We travelled to Urban Splash’s headquarters in Castlefield, arriving early to take the opportunity to walk around the outside spaces to scout for suitable locations. The office building is located within an Urban Splash development and there was some amazing contemporary architecture and interesting art installations to incorporate into my photography.
Tom’s fashion style reflected his buoyant personality. He was an amazing model, who knew exactly how to interact with the camera and needed very little direction. It was great to get to know him and find out more about the work he does and a wonderful opportunity to get more of my work in to this amazing project.