Churchgate House, Manchester
We have carried out a number of extensive alterations and refurbishments for this important Grade II* listed building group, including Lee House.
Measuring 300,000 sqft over 10 floors we have worked on virtually all the office suites, common areas, and the courtyard. Over the last few years, in association with the city council, we have developed and agreed a strategy to ensure that the building remains highly attractive to tenants and their modern needs whilst respecting the historic nature of the building.
We have worked extensively with Savills in the restoration of all elevations of Churchgate House (the final section now in progress) partly to deal with the ravages of time, partly to deal with previous, unsatisfactory changes, and also to resolve a number of original design failures. This particularly arises where the faience has been impacted by extremes of weather and there is an issue arising from the inadequate rainwater outlets from the parapet gutters leading to water penetration and outbreaks of rot. We have recognised expertise in terracotta and faience work (see also Bridgewater House)
A ‘modernisation’ in the 1980’s had led to a loss of some of the historic features and others were covered up. The glazed tiles to the staircase were covered over with plasterboard panels but, luckily, most of them survived and are visible once more.
The entrance hall was small and difficult to manage whilst the space behind, once the beating heart of the building, was relegated to some computer training spaces and storage. The design of the new enlarged lobby layout was the product of extensive historical research showing that it had once been the hub through which all of the material, (and thus wealth), had passed.
Our proposals respond to the client's brief to open up the building, through the lobby, and provide informal meeting areas and a coffee shop. This has turned the space into a new hub, moving people instead of goods, and has proved to be an extremely popular meeting place for tenants and visitors making the building more lettable, so that there is little vacant space.
Current work includes conversion of part of the semi-basement from car parking to commercial use and a further phase of external repairs.
Heritage services provided by Atelier Heritage.
Client - Helical plc
Project Management - Savills
Interior Design - Space Invader