Manchester Piccadilly Gardens design competition
Manchester Piccadilly Gardens (Image credit: Tour of Britain / Manchester Metropolitan University)
Future Cities Forum will be discussing the creation of new districts, place and public realm amenities, at its June forum in Manchester, hosted by the Science and Industry Museum.
A multi-million pound restoration programme for the Museum is underway at the globally significant industrial heritage site to carry out crucial restoration work and reveal new spaces for visitors to enjoy. At the Grade I listed 1830 Station and Warehouse, which is the oldest surviving passenger railway station in the world, the first £1.9 million phase of work funded by the DCMS, will give the building a new roof, gutters and rainwater pipes.
Future plans include a dedicated STEM learning space, together will improved outdoor area linking new connections and entrances between the Science and Industry Museum, The Factory and the developing St John's and Castleford neighbourhoods.
The Factory is due to open in 2023 and will be Europe's largest and newest arts and performance venue and the new home of the world-renowned Manchester International Festival. It is part of Enterprise City, a cluster of media, tech and modern businesses in a series of new and heritage buildings. Companies located here include Booking.com, Department, Versa Manchester Studios, WPP, MediaCom, Code Computerlove, Auden, Tech Nation and the tech Exchange program.
Meanwhile, also in Manchester, six design teams have been chosen to move forward to the next stage of an international design competition to create a world class space in the area centred around Piccadilly Gardens.
The initial stage of the competition, which attracted 10 entrants, invited expressions of interest to enable entrants’ credentials and experience to be assessed. The six shortlisted teams - Fira Landscape Ltd, LDA Design, Ove Arup and Partners, PLANit-IE, Studio Egret West and West 8, will now be asked to develop detailed concept designs setting out their ideas.
The teams will now have until autumn to bring forward their design proposals. The successful design team will be appointed in 2023 to further develop the design with the Council ahead of the appointment of a contractor to carry out the work.
The 10-acre site covered by the competition also includes Mosley Street, Parker Street, the section of Portland Street which runs alongside Piccadilly Gardens and the section of Piccadilly which borders the Gardens.
The prominent gateway location means that it serves a unique range of functions including as a major route through the city centre, a transport interchange, a space for markets and events, a meeting place and a green space to spend time in.
The design brief envisages that Piccadilly will be a special place with a strong sense of identity, welcoming and uniquely Mancunian and allowing for the flexible hosting of events: A place for all, incorporating space where children can play, and one that is fully accessible.
The brief recognises that it is important to the people of Manchester to retain a green space in the centre of the city. It calls for planting to encourage biodiversity and improve air quality in line with the Council’s wider environmental goals, while recognising that this may need to be rationalised to provide a flexible space which tens of thousands of people walk through every day.