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Winner in St Peter's Square contest revealed

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A team led by German landscape stars Latz + Partner has won the international competition to redesign St Peter’s Square in Manchester

Manchester City Council originally shortlisted five teams for the prize public realm scheme - part of its Town Hall Complex Transformation project - back in July 2010 and subsequently showcased the proposals as part of a public consultation exercise.

But due to the re-routing of the Metrolink tram line, the design teams had to rethink their proposals and it wasn’t until March this year that two anonymous finalists were finally unveiled (see below).

The victorious scheme for a ‘wide, open urban square’ includes a ‘carpet of paving’ and a grove of decorative trees. The Cenotaph is to be relocated and placed on a plinth which will be the same height of the Central Library colonnade.

It has also emerged that Ian Simpson Architects, which is working on the linked Town Hall extension project (see AJ 20.09.2010), has already submitted plans to reinstate the route between St Peter’s Square and Mount Street and create a glass and steel structure roof structure over Library Walk.

A planning application for the public realm work will be submitted later this summer and will include plans for a yet-to-be-designed Peterloo Memorial.

Sonja Hlawna, project lead for Latz + Partner said: ‘The redesign of St Peter’s Square is a crucial step in the Town Hall Complex transformation programme and we are convinced that the future square will constitute an outstanding place in the fabric of the city of Manchester.

‘It is our ambition to make the square more generous while respecting the context to unlock its full potential. We look forward to the challenge of creating an inspiring place for its citizens at the heart of Manchester.’

Latz + Partner is working with Arup Associates and lighting experts Speirs and Major.

Previous Story (AJ 20.03.2012)

Finalists in St Peter’s Square contest finally revealed

Designs by the finalists in the contest to redesign St Peter’s Square in Manchester have been revealed more than two years after the international design competition was first launched

Manchester City Council originally shortlisted five teams for the prize public realm scheme, which is part of its Town Hall Complex Transformation project, in July 2010 and subsequently showcased the proposals as part of a public consultation exercise.

Now the authority has put ‘detailed designs’ by the two anonymous finalists on show. It is understood the teams had to rethink their original submissions due to the additional Metrolink tram line running through St Peter’s Square. The route had originally been pencilled in to follow Mount Street and run through Albert Square.

The victorious scheme ‘will knit together a number of developments’ in and around the historic square and Manchester’s Civic Quarter and the redevelopment of the former Elisabeth House site by Glenn Howells Architects for Argent.

As part of the design brief, consideration has been given to the relocation of the historic Manchester Cenotaph, due to the introduction of new tram lines, to ‘a position more suited to quiet contemplation’.

Ian Simpson and Ryder Architecture are currently working on the neighbouring refurbishment of the Grade II*-listed Town Hall Extension and Central Library.

The contest for the redesign of St Peter’s Square and Library Walk was launched in January 2010.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • If the lovely watercolours above are to believed all the extra trams that will be coming through the square have been magically removed and the assorted (over engineered) infrastructure that will clutter up the square seems to fade into the background too. The extra trams are coming through the square because the much more logical second city crossing down Deansgate was rejected. Another distasteful by product is the moving of the Cenotaph - but that argument is seemingly ignored and lost and one must move on.
    Leaving that aside, it is worrying news that a plan to cover over Library Walk seems to have reared its ugly head again. Despite being aesthetically crass - Library Walk is one of the most enchanting and thrilling vistas in the city - there is wider implication regarding the insidious privatisation of public space and the prospect this lovely public space will become commercialised and ultimately have restricted access.
    This isnt place making - its undemocratic and autocratic and totally unnecessary.

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