The 10-acre site is set for a revamp, with the city council announcing its plans to launch an international contest to transform the space.
Set in the heart of Manchester’s city centre, Piccadilly Gardens includes parts of Mosley Street, New York Street, Parker Street and Portland Street.
LDA Design developed conceptual designs for the site that have informed the council’s design brief for the competition.
“Its prominent gateway location means that [Piccadilly Gardens] serves a unique range of functions including as a major route through the city centre, a transport interchange, a space for markets and events, a meeting place and a green space to spend time,” the city wrote in a release announcing the contest.
The competition has several key criteria for the design:
- It needs to retain existing listed monuments and statues, tramlines, infrastructure and Pavilion structure
- Full access and inclusivity should be integral to the design process
- It must promote safety, be well lit and have clear sightlines
- It should include planting that encourages biodiversity and improves air quality
- It must create a space that’s appropriate for all ages, including a place for children to play
- Parker Street bus services can be relocated and should be if improved alternatives can be found
The construction budget for the competition is estimated to be around £25m.
“The Piccadilly area has the potential to become an outstanding open space in the heart of Manchester, befitting the city’s international status,” said Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council.
“We recognise that it needs to be transformed to ensure that it can realise its potential as a welcoming and flexible space,” he continued. “We want to create a place that people are talking about for all the right reasons.”
The competition is expected to be launched in autumn 2021 and conclude in spring or summer 2023.