Astley & Byrom House April 2018

Allied London outlines plans for ABC

Charlie Schouten

Allied London and architect Levitt Bernstein have unveiled detailed plans for the refurbishment of Astley & Byrom House, now known as ABC, which could include a cinema alongside nearly 130,000 sq ft of office space.

Allied London bought the offices on the edge of Spinningfields in July last year, and has now submitted a planning application for a comprehensive overhaul and remodelling of the 1960s office blocks.

Internal space at the ground floor level of the adjoining two-storey Cooper House will be reconfigured to provide three retail or commercial units of 12,800 sq ft, 11,200 sq ft, and 600 sq ft. These have been earmarked for a cinema, a gymnasium, and events space.

Meanwhile the office’s floor plates and existing cores will be upgraded to house additional office space: Astley’s office floor plates will be around 6,300 sq ft per floor, while Byrom’s will be around 8,000 sq ft per floor.

Rooftop extensions will add a combined 8,000 sq ft to the development, the largest of which will be on Astley House at 3,600 sq ft.

An amenity and events space will be created on the roof that joins both buildings, along with a communal terrace for office tenants.

The designs show the removal of the buildings’ façade facing Quay Street, replaced with anodized metal with a black finish and glazing, while parts of the original façade will be refurbished and cleaned.

Astley & Byrom House April 2018 2

Rooftop extensions, a refreshed facade, and a cinema all form part of the plans

Entrances to Astley & Byrom House will be significantly remodelled as part of the plans.

Overall, the development will provide 181,000 sq ft of office and commercial space; 82,900 sq ft in Astley; 46,000 sq ft in Byrom; and 52,200 sq ft in Cooper.

Both buildings were originally designed by Leach Rhodes Walker. Astley House was built in 1959, and Byrom House was completed in 1965.

Alongside Levitt Bernstein, the professional team includes OBI Property as project manager; Deloitte as planner; Curtins as structural engineer; REDS as mechanical engineer; Crofts as transport planner; and Sandy Brown as acoustic consultant.

The buildings’ former owner, West Midlands Pension Fund, advised by CBRE Global Investors, gained planning permission in 2015 for the redevelopment of the site, with a scheme that would involve the demolition of both buildings, replacing them with three blocks staggered in height at between six and 14 storeys.

Stride Treglown was the architect for the proposals, but these were never progressed.

Allied London declined to comment.

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Nice to see it getting some TLC rather than the bulldozer.

I’m not sure about the fag shelter on the front; I like that old cinema look but with those supporting columns it adds a lot of clutter to an increasingly claustrophobic street.

By A

Great Mancunian joined up thinking again. Knock down a beautiful old cinema and build an office block, then put a cinema in an old office block a few hundred yards down the road…

By Loganberry

Dear oh dear, devastatingly true Loganberry.

By ^

^^ Beautiful, out dated, and vacant for many years in the context of a rapidly changing cinema market, that is.

By Anon

The ownership of the Odeon and this office building are not joined up either. There is there no relationship between the destruction of cinema space in one and the providuon of cinema space in the other.

By Obviously