• Architecture
  • Commercial

Old Granada Studios,
Manchester

Info

Project Details:

Reinventing a Manchester icon to create a unique development: a hotel, bar, event space, offices and homes in a new city district.

Client: Allied London

Construction Value: TBC

Completion: 2019

Location: Manchester

People

Granada Studios reception room in May 1964, image from 'Granadaland' project at http://granadaland.org

Granada Studios scenery workshop, image from 'Granadaland' project at http://granadaland.org

Granada Television HQ, designed by Ralph Tubbs, is a Manchester icon – home to Coronation Street and The Beatles’ first ever televised performance. Following ITV’s move to MediaCity, Allied London purchased the site and asked us to redesign the building. Sitting at the gateway of the St John’s masterplan – a vibrant neighbourhood for culture, business and living – our design proposals needed to create exciting new facilities; mark this prominent location and provide a fitting tribute to the site’s illustrious past.

The new building will be a landmark within St John's

From the outset, we worked closely with Allied London, led by Mike Ingall, to test options for the site, checking that the eventual uses would fit in with the wider masterplan. It was essential that the prestigious Granada Television HQ building was retained, with the preference for it to become an event hotel. We had free rein to explore other uses for different elements of the site, from cinemas and swimming pools to theatres and music venues.

Masterplan

Design

Tubbs' original building will be carefully restored, image ©ITV Granada

From the exterior, Granada Television HQ will look no different: as only one of five remaining Tubbs’ buildings, we were keen to respect its architectural significance. The iconic geometric façade will be retained with hotel rooms behind. A bar will sit atop the hotel, within a new, glowing glass box to replace the studio sign. The television studios themselves will remain as unique event and performance spaces.

Working with a site that the people of Manchester think of so fondly has been a challenge and a privilege. This project is all about preserving an icon for them and the city itself.

Mark Keegan, Associate Director

A new building adjacent will provide apartments, offices and retail units. The homes, either duplex or penthouse apartments, all have generous winter gardens or balconies as well as access to a private rooftop swimming pool and sun terrace. The commercial space here is complemented by modular units to the rear of the site, which offer further workspace for small, start-up companies. Throughout, our priority was to capture the magic of the original Granada Studio site to create somewhere that people would be drawn to visit.

A new building provides serviced apartments and offices

Section through an original studio and new building adjacent to the historic Granada Television HQ

Duplex apartments offer modern, open plan living arrangements

The rear façade features residential bays and access galleries

Start-up workspace, constructed in an industrial modular style, is designed to encourage creative and digital companies into the site

Historically, the Old Granada Studios buildings have expanded in an ad hoc manner, with each addition functional and pragmatic in its aesthetic. Our intention is to honour this approach and allow the new additions to express their own architectural identity.

Diagram illustrating the new mix of uses

Ground floor plan

Core team

Gary Tidmarsh

Chairman

Mark Keegan

Associate Director

Dominic Cava-Simmons

Project Architect

Alexis Kalli

Project Architect

Davide Bello

Project Leader