The Great Northern Warehouse scheme in Manchester has recently been granted planning approval, and we’re eager to see the proposed vision now become a reality. This is an exciting development for us, having been involved in the project from the first application in 2017 alongside the developers Trilogy Real Estate and architects Simpson Haugh.
The Great Northern Warehouse is a historic building located in the heart of Manchester and is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. Originally built in 1856 as a railway goods warehouse, the building has since been used for a variety of purposes, including as a cinema, a casino, and a leisure complex. Planit was brought on board to help design the outdoor space, including the public square and new pedestrian streets that will connect the development to the surrounding urban fabric. In addition, we were tasked with designing a series of new high-quality communal spaces for the future residential community that will inhabit the area. Our goal was to create a welcoming and more immersive green environment that encourages people to visit, linger, and enjoy the space.
One of the key challenges faced was working with the historic nature of the building and ensuring our design complemented and enhanced its existing features. The Great Northern Warehouse is located in a highly visible and prominent location, and our design had to reflect the importance of this site.
To address these challenges, we worked closely with the architects, developers, and community to create a design that would be sensitive to the historic nature of the building, whilst also crafting a modern and attractive outdoor space. We incorporated a range of features, including seating areas, flexible space, and biodiverse habitats, to create a dynamic and engaging environment. We paid close attention to the pedestrian routes around the site, ensuring that they were accessible, safe, and easy to navigate. A range of different surfaces, materials, and textures were introduced to create a diverse and interesting environment that provides a rich sensory experience at a human scale. The new public realm will provide a welcome mat for the development, encouraging exploration, and integrating the space as an essential part of people’s city journey.
Over the last few years, the developers Trilogy Real Estate have had ongoing conversations with the community to better understand their thoughts and feelings surrounding the space. We are pleased to have been able to incorporate features that have been popular with the community, such as the sandpit, into the new square design. We believe it is important to listen to the needs and desires of the local community when designing public spaces, and have worked hard to ensure that the new square is a space that people will continue to enjoy for years to come.
We recognise the importance of greening in a city like Manchester and by incorporating soft landscapes into our designs, we hope to contribute to the health and well-being of both the local community and the wider city.
This project has been a true collaboration between architects, developers, and landscape architects, and we are proud to have played a key role in its design. The redevelopment of the Great Northern Warehouse is an important step forward for Manchester, and we believe that it will help to create a new hub of activity in this area of the city. We are also excited about the potential for the new public square to become a focal point for community events and activities. The square has been designed to be flexible and adaptable, and we hope that it will be used for everything from outdoor markets to community gatherings and celebrations.
As a practice, we are passionate about creating outdoor spaces that are both functional and beautiful; believing that well-designed outdoor spaces have the power to bring people together, and enhance the quality of life for everyone in the community. The Great Northern Warehouse scheme is a perfect example of this philosophy in action. By working together with architects, developers, and the local community, we have designed a space that is both functional and beautiful, and that we believe will help to revitalise the heart of the city.
We are proud to have been involved in this project from the very beginning, and look forward to seeing the Great Northern Warehouse scheme become a thriving hub of activity in the years to come. With its unique combination of history, culture, and modern amenities, this development will become a destination in its own right, attracting visitors from across the city and beyond. We are excited to see how the space will be used, and it continues to evolve and grow over time. We look forward to seeing the project’s impact on Manchester, and hope to continue to create inspiring outdoor spaces that enhance the quality of life for everyone in the community.