Bruntwood SciTech puts in plans for latest Circle Square office

Plans for the 15-storey, 224,000 sq ft office have been submitted with the developer claiming “exceptional levels of interest” in commercial space at the site in Manchester.

The 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General announced in May it was bringing forward plans for the £56m office at its mixed-use development on Manchester’s Oxford Road, while already on site with the 150,000 sq ft No.1 and 210,000 sq ft No.2, due to complete next year.

Under the latest plans, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley, the developer is proposing a 15-storey building with open-plan column-free floorplates of around 16,400 sq ft over 12 floors, as well as lounges, workspace and a terrace on the top floor.

There will also be three food and beverage units at ground floor level of 2,600 sq ft, 2,100 sq ft, and 1,700 sq ft.

The building will be flanked by public realm leading down to the Mancunian Way, and is also bordered by Princess Street. Under the draft timeline, subject to planning consent, work could begin in the first quarter of 2020. According to planning documents, Sisk is lined up as main contractor; the company is currently on site at No.1 and No.2 Circle Square.

Bruntwood SciTech said it was bringing forward the office due to high levels of demand; earlier this month, Mills & Reeve confirmed it would take 15,000 sq ft at No.1 Circle Square, making it the second confirmed tenant at the site, following HP which took a 10-year lease on a 20,000 sq ft space in December 2018.

Place North West also reported in May this year that marketing firm Dentsu Aegis was eyeing a move for up to 100,000 sq ft at the £750m development, which is set to include 400,000 sq ft of offices in its first phase.

The professional team includes planner Deloitte; Design Fire Consultants; Curtins; Crookes Walker; Planit-IE; Richard Boothroyd & Associates; and Rider Levett Bucknall.

Tom Renn, managing director, Bruntwood SciTech – Manchester said: “The city’s economy has remained robust and strong over the last 18 months, we are particularly pleased at the strength of the digital technology sector and the momentum created by flagship investments like GCHQ, Amazon and of course our own letting to HPE at Circle Square. Our belief  is that Circle Square will be a magnet for the whole sector, but especially for those working in Cyber Security, fintech and AI.

“There is already a vibrant cluster of over 200 businesses working in the field of digital technology and life sciences on the Oxford Road Corridor and a real sense of community. The energy on Oxford Road impresses everybody and interest in Circle square and our commitment to build No.3 Circle Square further reflects the enthusiasm for what is happening here.”

Circle Square Plot 12

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Ok this design needs a lot of work.

It’s trying to follow the current trend for modernist office buildings using reconstituted stone or cladding and vaguely classical forms. This works well at St Peter’s Square and even the office buildings under construction at Circle Square. But this proposal gets it all wrong because the proportions of the block don’t work. It’s just a huge, dumb cuboid with no articulation or relief whatsoever. Slapping some cladding on it does nothing to hide that fact.

They should go for a completely different aesthetic in my view otherwise when the superb Technology Centre gets knocked down this area will look bland in the extreme.

By Square

Looks fantastic. The colour of the glazed terracotta cladding will work well next to the dark reds already in place.

By Read_the_planning_app

Looks great. The final piece of the puzzle!

By Steve

@ planning_app. You’re fixated on the cladding whereas the main issue is with the massing and form of the building. The colour and type of cladding is a pretty weak device to disguise the building’s lumpen nature and in any case is too similar to the existing aesthetic to offer much delight / interest when the development is complete. IMO

By Square

I like it. Colouring and mass looks fine. IMO.

By Deja

Fantastic to see Manchester doing so well!

By Anonymous

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