Progress in Manchester Royal Exchange

Over the past year we have been working with Hines to convert vacant units in Manchester Royal Exchange, a Grade II listed building in the city centre.

Outside 3 Squared Cafe in the Manchester Royal exchange arcade

3Squared Café is Manchester’s first “free-from” café, which focuses on sourcing local and organic food to produce a menu free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. We supported the café operator, Squared Ventures, with the design services from RIBA Stage 0 to RIBA Stage 4. The 1,400 sq ft retail unit is now complete and the café has been open for business since December 2018.

Our next project within the arcade is G² Gymnasium, a 12,000 sq ft refurbishment of the lower ground level into a luxury gym. We have supported the client, Hines, and the gym operator, Squared Ventures, with the planning, listed building consent and design services from RIBA Stage 0 to RIBA Stage 4.

Lengthy investigation work was required to make this project feasible as there is no obvious link to the outside for fresh air intake and exhaust. The overall design was also heavily influenced by the need to work around the heritage features of the building. These change from area to area as the building was rebuilt during both the Blitz and the 1996 Manchester Bombing, further complicating the design process. We are happy to report that listed building consent has now been granted and the project has moved into the construction phase.