Bruntwood enters space race with Union

A planning application for the redevelopment of Commercial Union House on Albert Square has been submitted to Manchester City Council by Bruntwood.

Bridge Architects’ design will introduce a curved façade to the 66,249 sq ft building which comprises a basement, five upper floors of 10,000 sq ft each and three self-contained ground floor retail units.

Since acquiring the building late last year Bruntwood has renamed it Union.

Peter Crowther, director of property at Bruntwood, said: “Union is in such an iconic spot we wanted to create a vision that would position it as a landmark building, whilst still being true to its civic roots. With the improvements we are making, we are confident that we can attract an inspiring mix of customers to the building, adding value to what is already a vibrant part of the city centre.”

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hmmmm….not sure about this

By sceptic architect

••••••it seems to be a pleasant and tasteful redevelopment, improving the original mock Georgian structure. Thankfully, the Shapeshifters presiding in Manchester City council did not, on this occasion agree to bulldoze the building and replace it with a souless glass and concrete monstrosity such as Fred Done’s gigantic, narcissistic glass/concrete structure under construction in St. Peter ‘s square•••••this ugly behemoth is replacing the wonderfully majestic Colonial looking 1932 Quaker ‘s building, one of my favourite building’s in Manchester which I regularly visited. Another of my favourite haunts HOTEL INTERNATIONAL has also been demolished as has the Art Deco style tower on Deansgate (not sure of the name) which became history to make way for a part of Spinningfields which fronts Deansgate•••••and a few weeks ago, the world’s first purpose built Railway Hotel, circa 1847, was demolished so that people can get better sight of and access to Chetham’s 16th century library••••••I’m all for demolition but make sure it’s post WW2 -1970’s Brutalist style architecture like the Ardnale Tower.

By Anthony Fallon

They should bulldoze everything on that side of Albert Square and just make a large public square right down to Deansgate.Why are they redeveloping the hideous Brassonoze street?They should knock all the tat down on there too and create a vast plaza.Plant an avenue of trees.

By Elephant

This and the matching Heron House (?) the other side of Brazenose Street with their erstaz mimeograph version of the Town Hall Extention should be erased from memory.

Foul buildings. Something similar to 1SPS would be much better – even a “soulless” sheet glass edifice would be a major improvement, at least you’d see the older buildings reflected in it. Get it done Bruntwood, let it move onwards and upwards along with the rest of Brazenose, John Dalton House etc that’s been going through planning

By dozer bull

Agreed.Let’s have a beautiful civic square with Pankhurst’s new statue enhancing Lincoln’s and give it a new name.Peterloo square is better than Queen Victoria’s pointless husband,having a square in a great Day Republican city named after him.What have any of that family ever done for us? Peterloo square with all the great Reformers statues and relocate the Albert memorial to Albert park in Salford.

By Elephant

The relatively modest scale and use of brick and stone on the two office buildings opposite the town hall give Albert Square a pleasing harmony and a real sense of place. I don’t understand why some people are obsessed with bulldozing these buildings in particular. Theyre perfectly fine and the square will not be improved by replacing them; even less so by doing away with them altogether and leaving a bizarre, sloped, misshapen plaza.

By Specsaver

I never thought of the slopiness of the square.Good point.I still think that most of the buildings on that side of Albert square are best razed to the ground though.We are not very good in the UK at public squares.Even Trafalgar looks like a car park.In Manchester we are hopeless at open spaces in general.

By Elephant

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