Manchester City Council selected the contractor, alongside Hyde Demolition, to tear down Tadao Ando’s concrete wall, an operation that will take place over the next four weeks mainly during the early hours of the morning.
Hoardings were erected around the free-standing part of the wall earlier this week and demolition has started today.
However, those hoping for a spectacular destruction of the much-maligned wall may be disappointed.
The council said it wouldn’t be “a quick or dramatic job”, explaining that the complexity of the site, in terms of its proximity to the Metrolink track and the need to maintain a public right of way through the Gardens, means that, rather than using a wrecking ball, it would be a slow, “nibbling” job.
Work to demolish the wall will be carried out between 1am and 5am in order to limit disruption to bus and Metrolink services in the area.
John Shannon, divisional director at Seddon, said: “Working closely with Hyde Demolition, we have developed a safe and structured programme to bring down this long-debated portion of wall in Piccadilly Gardens on behalf of Manchester City Council.
“We will keep disruption to a minimum and in advance we would like to thank local people and businesses for their patience while we complete this project.”
By knocking down the wall, the Manchester City Council hopes it will be easier to see across and move through Piccadilly Gardens, with poor sightlines cited as a contributory factor to antisocial behaviour.
The overall regeneration of the gardens, being led by LDA Design, will cover an area including a section of Piccadilly to the north of Piccadilly Gardens, Parker Street to the south and Mosley Street to the west.