Neville un­veils new ‘hon­ey­comb’ tower


Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By PAUL BRIT­TON. paul.brit­ @PaulBrit­tonMEN.

GARY Neville has un­veiled a new ‘hon­ey­comb’ look for a 39-storey glass sky­scraper in the heart of Manch­ester.

Ar­chi­tects have been re­fin­ing the tower’s fa­cade since a public con­sul­ta­tion on re­vised plans in Au­gust - and Neville says he’s now sat­is­fied with the over­all look.

The lozenge-shaped tower - part of the St Michael’s de­vel­op­ment - would sit on Jackson’s Row, off Deans­gate, and con­tain a mix of apart­ments and a lux­ury ho­tel. CGI im­ages re­veal the tower’s ver­ti­cal bars have now been sculpted and twisted.

Ar­chi­tects say the changes and the an­odised bronze ma­te­rial of the bars would re­sult in re­flec­tions and colours of light bounc­ing off the build­ing.

The tower’s crown has also been re­designed for a more ‘dy­namic fin­ish,’ the St Michael’s Part­ner­ship said.

Changes to the en­tire St Michaels’ project were an­nounced in July after a public back­lash over ini­tial plans for two bronze­clad tow­ers.

The his­toric Sir Ralph Aber­cromby pub and fa­cade of the for­mer Boo­tle Street po­lice sta­tion were saved as a re­sult as the pro­posal was re­duced to just a sin­gle tower.

Ar­chi­tect Stephen Hod­der, who was drafted in to re­design the plans, said the ‘sub­tle’ new de­sign change would have a ‘sig­nif­i­cant im­pact.’

He said the sun shin­ing on the facets would cre­ate an ‘ever-chang­ing el­e­va­tion’ at dif­fer­ent times of the day as light moves around the build­ing.

“I was en­cour­aged by the out­come of the public con­sul­ta­tions but wel­comed a pause to re-eval­u­ate the de­tails of the el­e­va­tions,” he said. “I feel the out­come is a more dy­namic ex­pres­sion, one that not only adds vi­brancy to the tower, but also presents a stronger en­gage­ment with the ad­join­ing streets.”

It is un­der­stood His­toric Eng­land’s view on the new ver­sion has been en­cour­ag­ing, but the or­gan­i­sa­tion has still to com­ment.

Neville said he hoped the up­dated pro­posal would go to Manch­ester coun­cil in early Novem­ber, to be fol­lowed by a 21-day pe­riod of public con­sul­ta­tion.

He said of the de­sign: “We have chal­lenged it. We have moved it back and for­ward. It is the skin of the build­ing that has been changed and I am as con­fi­dent as I have ever been that this needs to get in and go.”

The new tower is two me­tres shorter than the taller of the two orig­i­nals and has been ro­tated to a dif­fer­ent an­gle.

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