ROOF POD…Ask any expert and they will tell you that the changes to the office we are seeing post-Covid were already in the works before the pandemic hit, but that doesn’t make them any less exciting. Everywhere you look there is an office block being transformed to cater for today’s occupiers with a focus on wellbeing and flexibility. At Allied London’s ABC Buildings on Quay Street in Manchester, the developer is taking amenity provision to futuristic  heights with the installation of a rooftop geodesic pod. The 1,800 sq ft glass dome, which looks like it has been stolen from the Eden Project under cover of darkness, will be used as a meeting room and event space by occupiers of the refurbished 1960s office building. No doubt those who use the dome will be hoping to reap the rewards of blue sky thinking.

Tim Heatley Cold Coffee

Tim checks out the array of hipster treats

COLD COFFEE…The final episode of Manctopia provided us with an insight into Capital & Centric’s Phoenix development, which is very nice except for one unsettling detail. Did anyone else notice the pouches of ground coffee nestling in the door of the fridge? When Tim Heatley opened the fridge – MTV Cribs style – he pointed out the coffee and cast doubt on a lifetime of knowledge about how to store just about anything. The coffee, “brewed around the corner from C&C’s office” and sent to while away its days shivering in a show apartment, was all part of what Heatley described as “subliminal messaging” in a bid to entice young, hip professionals who enjoy things like craft ale and fresh fruit and veg. The developer then went on to extol the virtues of Manchester’s independent bars, restaurants, delis and breweries while drinking from a Costa coffee cup. 

Liverpool Canvas

Liverpool’s streets are set for yet more snazzy works of art

LIVERPOOL CANVAS…It seems like each week there is another artistic initiative being launched on Liverpool’s streets. Whether it is a mural of the newly crowned Premier League champions or street performers being given funds to bring life to the city centre, Liverpool seems to make more room for art than most. Liverpool Canvas is the latest scheme to add a dash of vibrancy. Put forward by Lib Dem Cllr Alan Tormey, the idea is for residents and community groups to grab their paint brushes and transform the drearier aspects of the street scene, such as this traffic light control box, into works of art. The timing of such an initiative seems eerily apt given certain rumours that have been circulating of late… 

Neil Buchanan Art Attack

BANKSY REVEALED…The mystery behind the identity of Britain’s most disruptive artist has been revealed, or at least some people think so. Liverpool-born artist Neil Buchanan of Art Attack fame, is now odds-on with the bookies to be unmasked as the spray-paint wielding menace who has been daubing our streets with satirically astute artwork since the 1990s. Liverpool Canvas (above) seems like the perfect setting for Banksy’s greatest art attack yet, perhaps a replacement for his giant rat that was removed from the side of the White House pub on Duke Street in 2013. It must be noted that Buchanan has denied the rumour, but, as one Twitter-user put it, that sounds an awful lot like something Banksy would say.

Man City Wayfinding

WAYFINDING…Back in November 2019, Manchester City FC submitted a planning application for 40 wayfinding signs between Manchester Piccadilly train station and the Etihad Stadium so that visiting fans and tourists could more easily find their way to East Manchester. However, in a depressingly Covid-dunked turn of events, those plans have now been withdrawn. With no fans allowed inside football stadia at present, there simply isn’t any immediate need for such signs. Or maybe it’s something to do with the perceived lack of fans City’s noisy neighbours like to go on about… 

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