Skyscraper tops Manchester skyline

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The Independent Online

Manchester's skyline entered a new era yesterday as work was completed on a shimmering tower block which is the UK's highest residential building and second only to London's Canary Wharf among British skyscrapers.

The Beetham Tower, which settles into a vista that already includes Urbis, a blue glass building shaped like a ski slope, will become the UK's tallest residential building when the apartments which fill its top 24 floors are occupied. It soars 157 metres (515ft), and an additional glass blade adds an extra 14 metres.

The five-star Hilton hotel will occupy floors 1 to 23, with the penthouse reserved for the architect, Ian Simpson, who gets five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a "garden", complete with olive trees and a swimming pool.

Phil Neville, the Manchester United footballer, and his wife, Julie, are reportedly among those who will occupy one of the 206 flats, which sold out months ago.