Whitworth Locke Dining Whitworth Locke Dining
Whitworth Locke

Structural Alteration and Fit-Out

  • Client
    SACO Property Group
  • Contract value
  • Project Manager
    Gardiner & Theobald
  • Architect
    Leach Rhodes Walker
  • Programme
    45 Weeks
  • Contract Type
    JCT D&B
  • Sector
  • Project Lead
    Darren McGuire
  • Location
Whitworth Locke Bar

What did the project involve?

Phelan Construction were thrilled to complete a project in Manchester on the former Atrium Apartments. These serviced apartments provide business professionals and tourists with quality accommodation in the heart of Manchester.

The project involved the complete strip-out of the existing 125 apartments, plus the addition of a further 25 apartments, to create a suite of 150 luxury serviced apartments. This also included the formation of a duplex apartment suite on the fifth and sixth floor by combining two existing apartments.

As part of this work, we further carried out a complete refurbishment of all the existing building infrastructure replacing large parts of the MEP systems. The structure was repaired and altered to form the additional apartments before a stylish fit-out of all 160 apartments was carried out over a 9 month period. On the ground floor a new lobby, bar, co-working space and 2 independent F&B units were created in keeping with the modern style of the apartments

What challenges did the project team face?

Based on the corner of Princess Street and Whitworth Street in central Manchester and with the Rochdale Canal running along the northern boundary of the site logistics was naturally one of the main challenges with the project. An internal site set up was established, pavement and scaffold licenses were obtained to carry out external repair works and all deliveries were made outside of peak hours in order to mitigate disruption. One of the 3 interlinked buildings is Grade II listed therefore we had to liaise with the local conservation officer to agree the treatment and preservation techniques for listed features. As with any refurb within a historic building the MEP service routes provided a particular challenge and to coordinate the designs with the building as areas were opened up we used an on site MEP Co-ordinator to ensure that effective solutions were delivered.

What stand-out features did the project boast?

Phelan appointed Leach Rhodes Walker as our design partner who worked alongside the client's LA based concept architect Matt Grzywinski of Grzywinski + Pons to bring their vision to life. The often quirky design made use of the existing building fabric in some cases showcasing the imperfections in the original fabric. The mixture of new and old, modern and traditional has proven extremely popular with the aparthotel reporting consistent high levels of occupancy since its opening A lot of the specified finishes from G + P were not readily available in the UK therefore the process of sourcing and agreeing samples of suitable alternatives was undertaken as the work progressed resulting in a finished product that was faithful to the design and has also been externally recognised by the National Building Awards where the scheme won Project of the Year (£10-25m) in 2019.

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