• Architecture
  • Commercial

Manchester Grande,
Manchester

Info

Project Details:

Reinventing a Manchester icon to create a unique development: a hotel, bar, event space, offices and homes in a new city district.

Client: Allied London

Construction Value: TBC

Completion: 2018

Location: Manchester

People

Granada Studios reception room in May 1964, image from 'Granadaland' project at http://granadaland.org

Granada Studios scenery workshop, image from 'Granadaland' project at http://granadaland.org

Granada Television HQ, designed by Ralph Tubbs in 1962, is a Manchester icon – home to Coronation Street and The Beatles’ first ever televised performance. Following ITV’s move to MediaCity, Allied London purchased the channel’s former site and we were asked to redesign this building as part of new St John’s masterplan.

Being such a beloved local landmark, its redevelopment needed to reflect the building's cultural significance. The site is also at the gateway to St John’s, which will be a vibrant neighbourhood for culture, business and living – opening up a whole new part of the city for locals and visitors. As such, our design proposals needed to create exciting new facilities; mark this prominent location and provide a fitting tribute to the site’s illustrious past.

The new building will be a landmark within St John's

Site plan

From the outset, we worked closely with Allied London, led by Mike Ingall, to test options for the site, checking that the eventual uses would fit in with the wider masterplan. It was essential that the prestigious Granada Television HQ building was retained, with the preference being to transform it into an event hotel. We had free rein to explore other uses for different elements of the site, from cinemas and swimming pools to theatres and music venues. Throughout, our priority was to capture the magic of the original Granada Studio site to create somewhere that people would be drawn to visit.

Shops, cafes and restaurants will sit behind the old studios

High ceilings and extensive glazing will create a modern feel

A series of undercrofts provide bar and restaurant spaces

Design

Tubbs' original building will be carefully restored, image ©ITV Granada

From the exterior, Granada Television HQ will look no different. As only one of five remaining Tubbs’ buildings, we were keen to respect its architectural significance. The iconic geometric façade will be retained with hotel rooms behind, many of which will have panoramic views across the city. The television studios themselves remain as they will create unique event and performance spaces.

Working with a site that the people of Manchester think of so fondly has been a challenge and a privilege. This project is all about preserving an icon for them and the city itself.

Mark Keegan, Associate Director

An early concept sketch

Retaining the site's heritage within the new development

Ground floor plan

First floor plan

Model illustrating the extent of works

A bar will sit atop the hotel, within a new, glowing glass box to replace the studio sign. Despite the changes to the interior, we were keen that the building still be a landmark on the city’s skyline. A new building adjacent will also provide serviced apartments and offices, featuring a heated rooftop swimming pool and a series of glazed bridges to link back to the existing Granada Television HQ building.

Finally, The M1, an aptly named thoroughfare for scenery and props behind the studios, will be reappropriated as a place for shopping and leisure.

The Manchester Grande is the first part of the St John’s puzzle. As well as providing a truly unique hotel and hospitality spaces, it will mark a new destination for Manchester – one that will transform this part of the city.

The hotel rooms will be bright, contemporary and luxurious

Typical hotel floor plan

Core team

Gary Tidmarsh

Chairman

Mark Keegan

Associate Director

Vinita Dhume

Senior Associate

Dominic Cava-Simmons

Project Architect

Alexis Kalli

Project Architect

Dan Liston

Project Architect

Davide Bello

Architectural Designer