Circle Square

  • Our role
  • Consultation
  • Creative strategy
  • Concept development
  • Creative direction
  • Film

Making an Grand Entrance

Circle Square is one of Manchester's most ambitious projects, a vision to bring a brand new neighbourhood to the heart of the city centre. Comprising of work, leisure and residential buildings set around a new public square in the Oxford Road Corridor, the development aims to create a place where the city's brains and talent live, work and socialise together.

Our involvement with the project began before ground was broken by creating an animated brand video to give the vision a voice.

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Baking a Cake

Soon afterwards, the team at Bruntwood invited us to help bring the vision to life by developing a creative strategy to activate the ground floor reception of the two commercial buildings. We hosted a collaborative 'cake baking' workshop with the entire development team to align ambitions, define and distil the core ingredients essential for its success.

The resulting creative strategy became the recipe setting the direction for the design process which we developed with our lead architectural partners Buttress.

Creating Conversations

Breaking down boundaries and opening up the space was fundamental to the vision. Reception spaces are often barriers to entry rather than invitations. Making the space porous creates dialogues between upper, lower, internal and external spaces with expressed circulation and dwelling platforms overlooking the space. An auditorium and podcasting room are given high visibility to expose and celebrate activities in the building, not hide them. Manchester's largest permanent projection wall will feature commissioned artworks that spark a conversation with the space and Symphony Park beyond.

"We love working with Sheila Bird Studio because they challenge us all to look at space differently and to not accept convention. As they did with us previously on The Bright Building they brought in a fresh perspective and made the design process engaging, fun and collaborative for the entire team."

Tom Renn
Managing Director, MSP

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