19th June 2018

Alliance’s new vision for Piccadilly Place piazza illuminates the rich history of Manchester

#Mixed-use Developments


‘The Manchester Lamps’ celebrate city’s history and community

Property Alliance Group has lit up Piccadilly Place with a unique display comprising five oversized lamps reflecting various eras and centuries of innovation in Manchester.

‘The Manchester Lamps’ range from 3.4m to 6m tall and form part of a £250k investment which has transformed both internal and external spaces at Piccadilly Place, located next to Piccadilly train station.

Alliance has worked in collaboration with art and design studio Acrylicize to deliver this unique brief. Each of the five lamps has a distinctive design style ranging from Art Deco through to contemporary.

Woven into the shades are motifs and graphics which help tell the stories of different eras. These include honeycomb design lattices across a 1950’s bedside light denoting the famous Mancunian ‘worker bee’ mantra and a banker’s desk light with a green canopy decorated with the scrambled code inspired by Alan Turing’s cracking of the Enigma code.

Alex Russell, Managing Director of Alliance said: “This art installation forms a significant part of our plans to revamp Piccadilly Place. We wanted to visually enliven the piazza space and pay homage to Manchester’s rich heritage of ideas and invention, whilst holding a focus for our people and looking to the future.

“We felt the lamp concept was a perfect way to encapsulate the story in something bright and fun that’s never been seen before, whilst creating seating space already being enjoyed by our tenants and the general public.

“The Manchester lamps are so unique, playful and visually striking that we hope they become a talking point and a place where people from across the city to choose to meet and visit.”

• The Art Deco lamp is inspired by both the beautiful Art Deco buildings in the city, and the splitting of the first atom in 1932 which was achieved by research conducted by Ernest Rutherford at Manchester University. This is illustrated in the magnified atoms, which can be spotted within the lampshade’s expansive abstract formations.

• The Art Nouveau Tiffany lamp pays homage to Manchester’s history of education including the city’s Chetham Library, which houses the UK’s oldest free public reference library. The sculpture’s canopy is adorned with open books alongside classical pen nibs and square academic caps.

• An enlarged version of an everyday 1950’s domestic table lamp celebrates the innovation and hard work of the people of Manchester and the city’s ‘busy bee’ lifestyle, which is represented by the honeycomb pattern on the lampshade.

• The banker’s desk lamp represents the dedication of world famous wartime code breaker and computer pioneer, Dr. Alan Turing. The glowing canopy integrates a scrambled code, inspired by the circuit board patterns and the ground breaking Enigma code.

• The fifth lamp stands for future, innovation and creativity. This iconic Anglepoise turns upwards projecting a graphic pattern onto the surrounding wall, designed to represent the future and next chapter of the city.

As well as providing lighting, the lamps will offer shelter and seating for people including electric heaters. They are complemented by new landscaping and paving plus bold floor graphics and colourful patterns within the tunnel entrance.

James Burke, Founder of Acrylicize added: “We’re absolutely delighted to be part of this exciting project and hope that the lamps will bring people together and provide a lasting legacy to the city. Manchester has such an amazing heritage in innovation, it’s been a real honour to tell the story of both the city and its people. Our hope is that locals and visitors alike connect with the work with a sense of belonging and pride.”

A full refurbishment is also currently underway to the reception of Three Piccadilly Place. Designed by Fairhursts, the reception is due to be completed in June and will be finished in a contemporary style bringing it up to date with the rest of the development.

Richard Lace of OBI Property commented: “Piccadilly Place is one of the best connected office buildings in the city centre from both a public transport and digital perspective as is located adjacent to Piccadilly Railway Station, and is the first building in the city centre to receive a Platinum Wiredscore rating.

“These characteristics, coupled with the ability to offer one of the largest available floor plates in the city centre, make it a compelling choice for occupiers seeking the highest quality workspace in the city centre.”

Since purchasing Three and Four Piccadilly Place, Alliance has secured a 35-year lease with Q-Park UK and welcomed several new retail tenants to the piazza. These include Black Sheep Coffee, which opened its first shop outside of London at Piccadilly Place, Simply Fresh which opened its convenience store at the site in April, and Sixt Rental Cars which opened this month.

There is just one retail unit remaining totalling 5,600 sq ft and a first floor office suite spanning 27,000 sq ft.

OBI and CBRE are the appointed offices agents and Hynes Illingworth are the appointed retail agents on Piccadilly Place.

Drone footage of the Manchester lamps: