Jonathan Davidson Architects

This project is for the replacement of a derelict single-storey council owned WC block with a new three-storey office and retail unit in the Northern Quarter area of Manchester, whose first use is as a hairdressing salon.

The development is informed by and reflects the historic typology of buildings in the area and responds to this scale and grain to make a positive contribution to the character of this unique part of the city.

The layout develops the model employed in the earlier Swan Square and Hilton Square schemes for the same developer, Workshop Properties, including ground floor WC and kitchen facilities, a lift and an open staircase between the upper floors to create a light and airy office of distinctive character.

The use of vertical windows within deep set backs at first and second floor levels reflects the verticality and rhythm of the neighbouring buildings and the historic pattern of small and sub-divided units within the area.