Modernising a Modernist Icon

Manchester International Office Centre is a prominent landmark office building extending to 100,000 square feet of high-quality office suites. Designed by Cruickshank and Seward, the mid-century modernist icon was awarded a RIBA Architectural Bronze Medal in 1955. As a part-restoration and part-transformation, JS+P were selected to rework the entrance and core circulation routes to this landmark building in the south of Manchester, with the aspiration of creating a premium hotel-like office environment that reflected its historic significance, balanced with a contemporary edge. This was all about reinvention, restoration, and revitalisation.

“JS+P focussed on key areas of the building through a series of orthographic projections, exploring the strong visual geometry of this RIBA award-winning project, with an aspiration to emulate the vertical planes internally. They designed a series of bespoke solutions with a refined and considered palette of materials.”

Sector | Workplace

Completion | 2021

Client | Till AM


One of the key features at Manchester International Office Centre is the central hub; an element connecting two parallel office wings running perpendicular. With a building developed in such close proximity to Manchester Airport it has ensured sustained viability as an office and conference venue, and even more so as a result of the pandemic which has fundamentally changed the way cities are viewed. As a result, the studio saw potential for the hub to be transformed from a transient entrance vestibule into a central meeting space for socialising, co-working and welcoming guests, with the aim to attract and retain office lettings.

Explorative study of archive material from publications  the landmark Manchester International Office Centre was a vital part of the design process. The building was formerly known as the Renold Building and has a long-standing connection with the engineering industry as the former HQ of Renold Plc. With a desire to encapsulate the company’s aspiration to deliver high precision engineering products worldwide and the power of these machines that revolutionised the modernist movement, JS+P established an identity emulating the teeth on cogs in the form of the wall panelling, glazed manifestations and metallic finishes. The graphic language and colours used were wisely selected throughout the scheme, of which they were also informed by the architectural style and historic status of this icon landmark building.

Behind the Scenes