86 Princess Street
- Our role
- Interior design
- Space planning
- Creative direction
From Textile to Agile
86 Princess Street is a Grade II Listed classic Manchester textile warehouse built in the Edwardian Baroque style by Isaiah Birkett in 1906. Like many of Manchester's heritage buildings 86 Princess Street is full of features that are desirable to modern businesses. Located close to the bustling Oxford Road Corridor, this is a place crying out to be repurposed for the city's bright, creative folk and just the kind of positive regeneration we love being involved with.
For us, it is always important to not overlook the qualities of a building's natural fabric and retain as much raw character as possible. Sometimes that means expressing what other people might see as flaws. Our approach to 86 Princess Street celebrates imperfection rather than papering over it. Many modern businesses value authenticity over sterility in their surroundings and 86 is full to the rafters with authentic charm. Together with heritage specialists Atelier Architects we set about bringing this amazing piece of Manchester's history back to life.
Letting the Light In
We proposed to open up the space as much as possible to create maximum flexibility for potential occupiers. Partition walls and dividing screens were cleared to allow the light to come flooding in. As a textile warehouse Number 86 was designed to let lots of natural light into the space with glazing on three aspects to help merchants inspect fabric samples on laying out benches. Together with the high ceilings, this produces a very contemporary light and airy feel. With its natural features restored and exposed, the building was then fitted and kitted with modern services and cutting edge technology.
Building a Community
It was essential to make sure the building could support a community of businesses with places to socialise and hold events. With a substantial roof terrace and a cafe and events space we have created many opportunities for people to mingle and form relationships.
To cater for even more flexibility in the building we co-founded a new co-working offer called See Saw which will offer desk and small studio space to micro enterprises on the Ground Floor.
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