Upgrades continue at Royal Exchange

Corstorphine + Wright, the architect on the £15m renovation of the Royal Exchange in Manchester, has released a new artist’s impression showing what the grade two-listed building will look like once restored.

Trinistar, a joint venture between Starwood Capital and Trinity Investment Management, bought the Royal Exchange in 2014, and is conducting phased improvements across the building.

A £1m refurbishment of the 19,000 sq ft retail arcade off St Ann’s Square is currently on site, while the refit of the Northern offices is due to complete in summer 2016.

The multi-million pound regeneration includes the external cleaning of the façade, installing lighting and signage, and a new design strategy for the retail units, aiming to attract local and independent retailers to the development.

Royal Exchange is made up of a national theatre, 120,000 sq ft of office space and 100,000 sq ft of retail accommodation, offering a variety of retail unit sizes from 1,000 sq ft up to 18,000 sq ft. Occupiers include Molton Brown, Starbucks, Accessorize, Scribbler and The Body Shop.

Conservation architect, Justin O’Connor of Corstorphine + Wright, said: “Our design integrates the rich history of the building while adding contemporary interventions using materials and finishes in keeping with the original features. Across all phases, our approach will be to fuse the heritage architecture with a new layer of modernism to ensure the new spaces will attract a high calibre of tenants who will benefit from a great building in a first class central location.

Whilst upgrades are needed to ensure the building meets modern accessibility standards, it has some tremendous features which are currently hidden underneath unnecessary finishes that dilute the quality of the building. Our primary role is to restore these features and bring the quality of the interior spaces in line with the quality of the external structure.”

The project team includes office agent Canning O’Neill, Tushingham & Moore, MMX Retail, interior designer Space Invader and project manager 2110 Consult.

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