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Manchester seeks architect for £160m town hall revamp

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Manchester City Council is seeking an architect for a £160 million regeneration of its Grade I-listed town hall

The winner of the estimated £11 million contract will draw up plans to revitalise the Alfred Waterhouse-designed council headquarters and its neighbouring Albert Square.

The project will modernise office, commercial, civic, visitor and event areas inside the landmark Gothic Revival building (pictured) which first opened to the public in 1877.

According to the contract notice: ‘The council wishes to procure a design and project team to design and deliver the refurbishment and upgrade of the Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square. The architect will act as the lead designer on the project and principal designer.

‘The architect services are required for but not limited to the following; coordinated design, being BIM manager (designing to BIM Level 2), conservation/ heritage, concept designs, detailed design, as built drawings, specifications, technical assurance, wayfinding, planning applications and discharging conditions, clerk of works and design leadership.’

The unique triangular-plan building, featuring an 85m-tall clock tower, was chosen following a design contest in 1868 which received a total of 137 entries.

Earlier this month Manchester City Council’s executive considered a report recommending urgent repairs of the ageing building, which was last upgraded 70 years ago and is at risk of leaks.

The total cost of the modernisation, including contingency funds, is estimated at £330 million. Waterhouse’s original detailed drawings were discovered hidden in the complex in October.

A structural and civil engineer, landscape architect, building services engineer and quantity surveyor are also sought in separate lots. The project is planned to complete in 2023.

The deadline for applications is noon, 19 December.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Danielle Messina
Manchester City Council
Room 407
Town Hall
M60 2JR

Tel: +44 1612344018
Email: d.messina@manchester.gov.uk

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