Picc Gardens Wall
Wall by architect Tadao Ando, built in the 1990s, has been unpopular due to the grey concrete and blank frontage

Days numbered for Piccadilly Gardens wall

L&G has submitted its planning application for £2m of improvements to Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, including the creation of new restaurants and the demolition of the unpopular feature wall.

The plans have been developed in partnership with Manchester City Council to improve the public gardens and create new covered public realm, as part of the redevelopment of the Pavilion building, which will provide seven units for restaurants and a coffee shop.

The plans include replacing the existing Pavilion and feature wall with two buildings, linked by a covered area of public space, improving lighting to deter anti-social behaviour, creating extra seating, adding soft landscaping, and relaying the pedestrian thoroughfares.

Manchester City Council’s executive committee endorsed the plans at a meeting in February.

Subject to planning, it is anticipated L&G will be start work in the first quarter of 2018 and the scheme would take 12 months to complete, with the improvements to the Gardens undertaken in phases over the 12 months to still provide public access.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Piccadilly Gardens is a major thoroughfare used by hundreds of thousands of people a week and for all the debate it generates it remains a well-used public space. Clearly, though, there is potential for improvement and we look to ensure that this is achieved to deliver a welcoming and attractive destination in its own right.”

Piccadilly Gardens View July 2017

View across Piccadilly Gardens, July 2017

Piccadilly Gardens

Artist’s impression of completed works

Your Comments

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So the “improvements” include converting more public realm into buildings. Enough of Piccadilly Gardens has been sold off already for development by MCC. I would rather see the wall turned green than it replaced with more retail.

By Mancunian

Either turn the wall green as proposed a couple of years back or knock it down and put some trees in its place. This won’t do anything to solve the drug dealing that goes on here.

By Aaron

I agree with Mancunian above – could be made into a green wall on the bus station side and retain the limited retail we have already. Much better than the utter rubbish which has been proposed.

By Bradford

We can rest assured they will make a pig’s ear of it whatever they do.Why don’t they knock the building they destroyed the gardens for whilst they are at it.Are MCC totally incapable of creating a functioning,attractive space,which isn’t a litter strewn midden? Or looks like the hard shoulder on the M62?

By Elephant

More privatisation of public space is not the answer to Piccadilly’s problems.

By Gene Walker

You people are funny.

By Anonymous

Oh dear, it is scandalous.
When/where was the public consultation??!!

Manchester is so desperately short of open, let alone open and green space.
I m not a fan of current situation but the wall does serve a function.
A better option would be a replacement double sided living green wall, with just more open garden space on the current garden side. Not want we have not increased retail.
Or at least half the retail to pay for the new works

The garden side of a new wall could be a back drop to an occasional temporary stage for MIF or such, or outdoor cinema screen, growing Christmas market/ice rink type event space.
All of which could at least help make up for loss of retail revenue. Adding something for mancunians, not this take, take take.

By Optimist

its not much of a feature! Goodness. I think Manchester needs to make that gateway into the city a whole lot more welcoming. Its not a nice route to walk up to Piccadilly station – especially if you leave it past 9pm.

By Mary Smiley

I can’t believe how the council were gifted a park and are being allowed to gradually sell it of for development.
It is dispicable.

Picadilly approach and ‘gardens’ are an absolute embarrassement, I dont take people anywhere near there when they visit.

By .

one of the most disgusting place to be in Manchester drugs dealer next to children and police walk around looking in different way ,may be they don t care anymore , police it s so weak no power at all especially with young people ,unclean area rubbish everywhere rice its disgusting ,the design it s the worst all that money paid to a Japanese architect to make such disgusting place, well the rest its not better market street looks like toilette all that people on the street beg for money so dirty city

By Anonymous

Instead of the horrid wall, I would suggest a beautiful dry stone wall (or close to as I imagine you cant have loose stones around for health and safety). “hip High” It would look beautiful organic and would also allow sitting, it would also be really cheap. The paths and Design on the artist impression give a really cold vibe….I thought Blair architecture was finally making its way out of our cities?
An other suggestion of mine…We have a brilliant architecture Department at Manchester University…I am sure they could get the students involved and get a Design that would be beautiful and CHEAP ? Just thinking aloud….

By Cat

The proposed scheme at Piccadilly Gardens really is a dog’s breakfast..curved paths, water features, undulating roofs, dreadful.

By LEighteen

A Dry stone wall would just be a gathering point for Manchester’s less salubrious citizens.Perhaps they should build a high wall around it,making it a secret garden and charge people to go in? It would stop the fountain being turned into a Jeremy Kyle’s outdoor event and get some money in to pay someone to keep it clean.Make it like the Tivoli gardens in Copenhagen. An Oasis from Market street and people selling mobile phone covers and stuffed toys,or falling about inebriated or stoned.

By Elephant

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