This is Glenn Howells new planned office block to stand on Elisabeth House overlooking Manchester's St Peter's Square.
Howells' beat off a number of top architecture firms for the commission including FLACQ who designed a rather more colourful idea of what Elisabeth House should look like.
Notably restrained, the Howells plan resembles a classic skyscraper of the 1960s, but with twenty floors missing from its centre. Conservative stone-clad vertical columns mark out the basic structure whilst recessed full height glazing features behind. Every two floors horizontal columns feature tricking the eye into thinking the building has less floors than it does and negating the impression of height.
Behind a colonnaded triple height frontage, a fully glazed entrance features at the base whilst the upper floors of the building step back from the front reducing the bulk overlooking St Peter's Square.
The corner columns however continue past the set-back and with an upper horizontal beam supported between the two, the rectangular nature of the structure continues to be expressed.
Interestingly, there's a passing similarity between this project and one by Howells' to stand on the site of the Odeon indicating that perhaps they are drawing from the same tried and tested formula again when it comes to designing an efficient and profitable office building.
The scheme is being developed by the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund in a joint venture with Argent and once complete will offer floor-plates of up to 2,000 square metres each.
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