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Sheppard Robson designs timber-framed pavilion in Manchester’s Spinningfields

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The 1,300m² building, which houses The Ivy restaurant and bar, is intended to both echo and contrast with surrounding steel and glass offices

Sheppard Robson was commissioned by Spinningfields developer Allied London to design the pavilion – together with its surrounding public space, The Field – as a way of redefining the commercial environment of Hardman Square.

The building, which extends over four floors including a roof terrace, has a strongly gridded form with an expressed frame which echoes the forms of surrounding commercial offices, while contrasting their steel and aluminium with its use of timber. In further contrast, the freeform landscaping is intended to soften the environment through its planting schemes.

The cantilevered ends of the building open up the ground plain, supported by large diagonal braced members. Planters on each floor ledge, patterned with motifs repeated in the landscaping features, are designed to create a fragmented wall of planting that runs up to an enclosed roof terrace with an oversailing array of trellises, trees and canopies.

Hardman pavilion credit felix mooneeram (2)

Hardman pavilion credit felix mooneeram (2)

Architect’s view

We were after a building that was different from the rest of Spinningfields and acted as a natural counterpoint to the glass and metal used on the adjacent blocks.

The structure’s green skin underlines both physical and visual connections between the landscape and the building; greened facades, including that of the roof, link views from both the low and elevated positions. Those using the building or the public space are intrinsically connected, not mutually excluded; a definite case of always being able to ‘see the wood for the trees’.

Neal Allen-Burt, partner, Sheppard Robson

Hardman square pavilion marketing drawings combined (location plan 1 500 at a3, all other gas 1 200 at a3) annotated page 1

Hardman square pavilion marketing drawings combined (location plan 1 500 at a3, all other gas 1 200 at a3) annotated page 1

Project data

Completion 2018
Gross internal floor area 1,208m²
Form of contract Design & Build
Construction cost £5 million
Construction cost per m£4,139
Architect Sheppard Robson
Client Allied London
Structural engineer Engenuiti
M&E consultant DSA Engineering
QS Gardiner & Theobald
Landscape consultant Layer
Acoustic consultant Sandy Brown
Project manager Gardiner & Theobald
Main contractor BAM

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