- Our role
- Place naming
- Creative strategy
- Concept development
- Interior design
- Brand identity
We love underdog buildings. Those little overlooked gems just waiting for some attention so they can show off their hidden charms to the world. Just like 135-141 Oldham Street. Tucked away on the outer reaches of the Northern Quarter, this unloved piece of Manchester’s post war modernist legacy had been under the radar until developers Bywater Properties saw its potential and asked us to help them revive it.
The building has a unique feature for a structure of its size, a 3 story atrium running inside the front facade. However, this was dead space. It formed a barrier between the street and the interior workspace and desperately needed reactivating.
Our idea was to give people a new reason to look at the building and create a series of strong visual connections between the street, the atrium and the space behind. Inspired by the language of early modernism and The Bauhaus we proposed to connect these through 3 structures and 3 colours. The atrium is repurposed as break-out space with desks overlooking the street. Two new meeting rooms punch through into the atrium as floating, coloured cubes and the front door is connected to the core interior with a dramatic red tunnel (we love tunnels if you hadn't guessed!) The facade receives extra animation with a giant graphic anamorphic mural visually connecting the structural interventions behind.
With the creative strategy in place we created a name, a brand identity, a teaser campaign and website to help market the development as Northstar
Connecting the Community
One of the things we love most is creating opportunities for buildings to be activated, either helping curate potential tenants or temporary uses that align with what the place is about. Upon completion of Northstar we celebrated by inviting people from the creative community over and allowing them to do what they do best. We chose to collaborate with photographer Madeleine Penfold and champions of sustainable fashion, The Manchester Fashion Movement to work with local clothing brands, students and models on a fashion shoot in the building. Check the movie below for the full story.
Got an interesting project idea?