Two left in contest to remodel St Peter’s Square

The design competition for St Peter's Square has been narrowed down to two finalists for the £20m project next to Manchester's Central Library and Town Hall Extension.

The secretive contest has been run without judges knowing the identities of the bidding design teams.

A poorly publicised pre-planning exhibition ran for two days this week – media were told after the exhibition had finished – displaying the designs at One First Street, the council's interim office.

The square is currently witnessing work on two sides with construction of the 280,000 sq ft office building One St Peter's Square by Carillion for Argent and Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund on one side and the £90m refurbishment by Laing O'Rourke of the Central Library and Town Hall Extension to the other.

Perhaps the biggest challenge the revamped square will face is accommodating pedestrians when the tram traffic rises to 45 journeys an hour after the second city crossing is completed by Metrolink.

To view the two final submissions in detail visit the council's website here

To view a selection of images from the designs click on the galleries below

Design SPSDC004

Design SPSDC016

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Perhaps they should then turn their attention to the abomination that is Piccadilly Gardens. But then again, that’s not next door to the Town Hall so it’s alright to have a concrete mess in the City’s showpiece "Gardens"

By Ian Jones

I think the fact that I have never seen Piccadilly Gardens empty suggests it is well liked. The sunken gardens were loved by old people and drunks. I am not suggesting you are one or the other. But the Gardens’ main problem is it is over-used due to a general lack of green space across Manchester – which makes it look extremely poor. When the sun is out – go to the gardens and look at all the people using it – they aren’t moaning.

By Hugh Brodie

Piccadilly Gardens is well used because it is a major transport interchange, not because it is successful as a piece of design. The landscaping is rarely anything other than scruffy, barren and worn, the overly dominant water feature too often an ugly water-free black dish and the less that is said for 1 Piccadilly Gardens, possibly the ugliest building erected in Manchester in recent years the better, frankly. It’s a dismal scheme that never really worked. Lets hope we have learnt the lessons for St Peter’s Square.


Word on the street is the "german lead" design consortia is in pole position be appointed to carry out the consultancy role. Rather ironic when you consider they will preside over the re-location of the cenotaph?

By Scott Bonner