Community Focused Commerciality

In 2010, BDP were approached by Aviva Investors to design a concept for complete refurbishment of what was known as Westminster House in Manchester’s City Centre. The building, which comprised over 200,000 sq ft of office accommodation, had been occupied by council services and presented a number of challenges and opportunities.

Knowing the landlord was focused on improving the appeal of the building and ultimately its occupancy rates and investment value, we began exploring the great potential we knew the building had. Very quickly it became apparent we could do so much more than a standard refurbishment on the building. With this in mind, we undertook a complete commercial repositioning exercise to make the product work harder for the people who used it.

At the heart of our solution was turning the building from a faceless council address into a vibrant destination with community at its heart.

 

Sector Workplace

Completion 2010

Client | Aviva Investments

Copyright | Courtesy of BDP

At the heart of our solution was turning the building from a faceless council address into a vibrant destination with community at its heart. The building was u-shaped, the core of which was dominated by a soulless courtyard at the back, which served only as an uninspiring space for deliveries and other back of house activities. Knowing that area of Manchester lacked quality outdoor space, our proposal involved transforming this dead space into a vibrant, customer focused space that linked key functional elements of the building, as well as providing a safe, great looking environment in which occupiers could socialise, meet and relax.

As well as this, we repositioned the building’s brand to 11 Portland Street, a move that helped refocus the presence the building had on one of Manchester’s most important streets. The client was impressed by the result of the feasibility study we undertook, choosing to adopt many of our suggestions into their scheme. This has resulted in rental levels moving from £14 psf, up to £25 psf, representing a significant uplift for their business.