Manchester office refurb shortlisted for national award

Posted on by John Cronin

A refurbishment scheme that has transformed an old office block in Manchester has been shortlisted for a national construction award.

Piccadilly GateThe £27m refurbishment scheme by Ocon Construction of Piccadilly Gate (pictured – source) in Manchester, formerly known as Rail House, is shortlisted as ‘Project of the Year’ by Construction News magazine. The awards are being held next week.

The 10-storey, 1960’s office block had been taken back to just the external concrete walls before being completely renovated. The building is being described as a pilot “office hotel” scheme which the former Office of Government Commerce describes as being (pdf link): “short-term space to work for short periods of days or weeks”.

It is suggested that Piccadilly Gate features: “in-built future proofed flexibility and quality workspace whilst avoiding unnecessary opulence”. The offices are now occupied by several Government offices including The Highways Agency and the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

The revamped offices have achieved an impressive BREAAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and the refurbished building is amongst the top 10% of Government buildings for energy efficiency.

The former Rail House office block, located next to the Piccadilly railway station, was considered by many as being a city centre eyesore. The facade of the 125,000 sq ft building has been completely changed by the installation of a new cladding system. It is believed that the building has the longest escalator in Manchester, leading directly to the railway station concourse.

The project, completed in March, is one of 8 shortlisted in the ‘Project of the Year £10-£50 million’ category. The Construction News Awards take place on July 12.

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