Manchester City Council is looking for urban design and landscape teams to transform the 10-acre site.
The council’s competition officially began today after being announced in July. New details on the project have been unveiled for the international competition, which has a deadline of 10 January 2022 for expressions of interest.
Designs for Piccadilly Gardens should also include Mosley Street and Parker Street, as well as the sections of Portland Street and Piccadilly that border the Gardens.
The successful design will retain the tramlines, infrastructure and existing Pavilion structure. It will also have to incorporate the listed monuments and statues currently on the site. The designs should have an estimated construction budget of approximately £25m.
Manchester City Council said the designs should show the Gardens as a “special place with a strong sense of identity, welcoming and uniquely Mancunian”. The council wants the space to be capable of hosting events and being a good area for children to play. Accessibility and inclusivity are key elements the council will be looking for in the submitted designs.
The council is also looking for a design that encourages biodiversity in the area and has the potential to improve air quality, and so wants the Gardens to continue in its role as a green space in the city centre.
Safety will also have to be considered when crafting designs. The council said it was “essential that the design promotes safety and is well lit with clear sightlines”.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Our clear ambition is for the Piccadilly area to be an outstanding public open space – a place that people are talking about for all the right reasons.
“It has huge potential to be a welcoming, flexible space which makes a positive contribution to the life of Manchester.”
Those looking to enter the Piccadilly Gardens design competition can find out more at the council’s procurement portal. Expressions of interest are due by 10 January 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be notified in early 2022 and asked to produce concept design proposals.