05  Oct 2017


Some of the UK’s leading architecture and design firms have submitted concepts to showcase the potential of Manchester’s first Winter Gardens at No8 First Street, which is due for practical completion later this year.

The winning design was submitted by the team at Ancoats-based architects 74 and shows how the double-height space could be transformed with dramatic vertical drops of foliage and lighting, which the judges said would ‘create drama both inside and outside the building’. The design is complemented with nature-inspired furniture, surfaces and lighting. The human-centric space is designed to flex around individuals’ needs and to be actively used by all staff throughout the working day. You can view 74’s rationale behind their design here.

The competition was run by Mix Interiors, the leading magazine for the UK commercial interiors market. Agencies across the UK were invited to illustrate how they would transform the Winter Gardens at No8 First Street, which will deliver 170,000 sq ft of Grade A BREEAM rated ‘Excellent’ space. The top six entries included teams from BDP, Broomejenkins, Claremont, Space Zero and Grimshaw.

No8 incorporates six glazed, double-height Winter Gardens, which will provide up to 1,685 sq ft of private amenity space for occupiers and the competition was intended to show how they might be used and fitted out by occupiers. Entrants were asked to consider how a business from two different sectors of their choosing might use the space; potentially including call centres, professional services companies or creative agencies.

They were invited to present a single A1 mood board – with details of the suggested materials, finishes and fit-out, and to communicate visually how these would complement both the office environment and the personality of the wider estate. They needed to consider the visual impact of the internal space when viewed externally, both during the day and at night time. Entrants also had to consider the potential benefits of how their design would impact on the recruitment and retention of staff across their chosen sectors.

The creative and diverse range of ideas and designs were judged by Jamie Hills, Senior Development Executive of Ask Real Estate, Ann Marie Duffy, Marketing Executive of Ask Real Estate, and Dan Williams, Head of Real Estate Development UK and Ireland at PATRIZIA UK, together with Chris Cheap, Regional Senior Director at GVA Manchester and James Evans, Director at Savills Manchester, who are acting as retained agents for NO8 First Street.

Commenting on the submissions Jamie Hills of Ask Real Estate said: “We received some really creative and innovative solutions but 74’s stood out as being a visually beautiful and impactful concept. The judges felt that it offered a vibrant yet peaceful space, which provides a contrasting extension to the workspace. It really delivered in terms of design and functionality and is an exciting glimpse of what occupiers will potentially be able to do with these unique spaces.”