LDA Design has been appointed to deliver concept designs for improvements to Piccadilly Gardens, potentially including the partial demolition of the Tadao Ando wall and a wider footprint for the scheme.
LDA was the landscape architect behind an earlier proposal from leaseholder LGIM Real Estate to regenerate the prominent area of public realm within Manchester city centre. The £2m overhaul was popular with the public but wasn’t progressed due to challenges around funding.
LDA will now come up with a number of outline schemes, which are set to be consulted on in the spring. Early stage imagery is yet to be revealed.
According to the council, “critical to the proposals will be the creation of a more family-friendly area with an improved children’s play area, and removing or replacing the existing street furniture”.
The plans could see the unpopular Tadao Ando-designed Pavilion concrete wall turned into a green wall, and the free-standing part of the wall, which is owned by the council, potentially demolished.
The area set to be regenerated now also includes a wider footprint than the previous scheme, expanding to include Piccadilly to the north of the gardens, Parker Street to the south and Mosley Street to the west.
LGIM Real Estate withdrew its planning application for £2m of works on the gardens in 2019, a long-running proposal which was first submitted in 2017. The scheme would have seen the pavilion and separate feature wall demolished and replaced with buildings for food and beverage operators.
The council said it remained committed to delivering the planting, improved lighting and design to deter anti-social behaviour proposed in the previous plan, and relaunched the competition to find a lead designer.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We know that Piccadilly Gardens is a major issue for a lot of people which they have strong views about. We are committed to funding and bringing forward a scheme which will both improve its appearance and help make it more of a welcoming, family-friendly space.”
LDA is working with Liverpool City Council on its city centre public realm strategy, and is bringing forward a strategic regeneration framework for the Baltic Triangle.