53 - 55 Mosley Street is a sensitive refurbishment and extension of a former industrial warehouse located in Manchester City Centre. The proposed design responds to the history of the building, whilst new contemporary interventions have helped to create a high quality workplace.
Mosley Street is a key route between Piccadilly Gardens and St Peter’s Square, two of Manchester’s biggest and busiest squares. Our client’s aspirations are to create a new commercial community in the heart of Manchester’s Central Business District through the refurbishment and extension of 53-55 Mosley Street.
The building is located close to two Grade II* Listed buildings; the Portico Library sits directly next to the site and 38 – 42 Mosley Street, currently occupied by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is on the opposite side of the road towards Piccadilly Gardens.
The existing footprint of the building and internal configuration provided very little opportunity for natural light to enter the internal spaces. The challenge was to try and improve this through sensible and modest refurbishment. Relocating vertical circulation so that the building operates via a single core has freed up the external walls to maximise natural light entering the workspace.
The big idea
The scale and appearance of the proposed design establishes a clear distinction between old and new. New interventions include ground floor glazing and main entrance facing Mosley Street, a secondary entrance and glazing on Back George Street, window replacement at first, second and third floors in addition to a new two storey rooftop extension.
The new entrance, glazing and signage proposed at Mosley Street and Back George Street are sensitively located within existing apertures. The introduction of exposed steel, bronze cladding and glazing tie in with the former industrial uses. The consistent bays add rhythm and control and align with the original apertures within the brickwork above.
The gable elevation of the new extension facing Mosley Street has been pushed back to minimise the impact from street level, whilst maintaining a clear legibility against the original brick facade.
The small detail
The proposed scheme for 53-55 Mosley Street will provide approximately 1,460 sq m of workspace across the five existing storeys in addition to two new storeys accommodated on top of the existing roof.
The ground floor includes a main entrance and reception area that provides an initial point of contact for building users and visitors, in addition to secure access to the reconfigured lift and stair. The new fourth floor workspace has a private external terrace facing Mosley Street that is accessed directly from within the demise.
The form and mass of the rooftop extension has been designed to create a calmer and more consistent backdrop to the setting of The Portico Library when viewed from Mosley Street. The scale of the extension has been developed so the roofline is aligned with the height of the adjoining Citygate building.
A mixed palette of materials have been carefully placed and proportioned to provide colour, texture and detail on the elements at ground level that interact at a human scale. The entrances are designed to be inviting, animated, well connected and engage with the surrounding streets.
The distinction between the original fabric and new interventions is intended to create clear legibility and definition to celebrate a new period in the building’s history, whilst recognising its former use as an industrial warehouse.