Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialCultureArchitecture.

1 Angel Square: Picture And Video Gallery

Jonathan Schofield feels like an extra in Minority Report as his jaw clanks to the floor

Published on October 16th 2012.

1 Angel Square: Picture And Video Gallery

HERE's a sneak preview of the spectacular 1 Angel Square just prior to it opening for business.

The building will house all the present city centre Co-operative estate excluding those operations presently taking place in the CIS tower and complex.

A remarkable feature involves the way air is pulled in through the three huge - and sculptural - tubes outside the building and by some witchcraft is converted into a ventilation system for the entire vast structure

Head office functions for the Co-operative Group plus other sectors of the business, banking and retail operations, will move into 1 Angel Square. In otherwords 12 distinct Co-operative businesses will be accommodated within the new headquarters building, whereas the current premises are spread across eight separate buildings.

Even the food tasting functions of the retail arm will move into the building. In the gallery below you'll find the state-of-the-art and futuristic spit bucket for wine-tastings.

A far more remarkable element involves the way air is pulled in through the three huge - and sculptural - tubes outside and by some witchcraft is converted into a ventilation system for the entire vast structure. In buildings with this much electronic kit the problem is keeping the structure cool rather than heating it up. 

Any fuel requiremens will be meet by rapeseed oil produced from crops on the Co-operative's own farms. The remaining husks of the crop will then be recycled into animal feed for beasts also on the Co-operative's own farms. Genius.

The first staff should have moved into the building by early November and the transfer should be completed in 2013.

The architects are 3D Reid. The main designer involved from that group was Michael Hitchmough. 

The present estate around Dantzic and Corporation Street will then be developed separately with commercial, retail and leisure opportunities.

Let's start with a video of the atrium which is higher than the former Manchester Wheel that used to sit in Exchange Square. Walking in there is a science fiction moment.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here.

The Facts

14 stories above ground, 2 below (including underground car park).

70 metres high (230ft) with 320,000 sq ft of office space accommodating 3,500 staff.

It will be Europe’s most sustainable large office building, having already collected accolades such as sustainable building of the year at the building and engineer awards.

It has attained the construction industry’s top environmental ratings: BREAAM Outstanding and A rated EPC, the first building of its scale in the UK to do so.  

It has been designed to use half the energy of the current Co-operative Manchester estate and 80 per cent less carbon, leading to a reduction in operating costs of up to a third. 

Building The Co-operative Group’s new head office will result in the creation of 4,000 jobs over the period of construction; 69 per cent of those created to date have been taken by workers from Greater Manchester, and 47 local firms have been awarded contracts. 

More than 300 apprentices will have worked on the construction of The Co-operative Group’s head office in Manchester city centre when it is completed. 

The Co-operative Group and BAM Construction have worked with Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Greater Manchester Employers Coalition and Jobcentre Plus with the aim of ensuring that eight per cent of the total workforce are apprentices. That equates to 1 in 12 jobs on the building site at any one time. 

There are 1,948 precast concrete coffered slabs that make up the floors in the head office. 

3,157 internal and external window panels make up the façade. 

There are 10,500 data and power outlets. 

The building contains over 70,000 access floor panels; an area the same size of 3.5 Old Trafford football pitches. 

Approximately 3,300 tonnes of structural steel make up the head office. 

It sits on 539 foundation piles, with an average depth of 18 metres below ground. 

There are approximately 22km of power cable in the building, which is the approximate distance between Manchester and Rochdale, the birthplace of the Co-operative movement. 

Laid end to end, the building’s chilled beams cover a distance of 6,150 metres, which is almost five times the length of Deansgate. 

Internal atrium is the same height as the old Manchester wheel, or the same height as 13 double decker buses stacked on top of one another.

The Picture Gallery

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square from New Century House with the gorgeous concrete artwork of William Mitchell in the foreground - click here for more on the latter

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the earth tubes that pull in the air for circulation around the building, function as sculpture

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - part of the soon to be completed processional way to 1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the glory of the sixties buildings, equally as visionary in their day as 1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - that atrium

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the atrium 

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - internal window cleaning rig

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - ground floor cafe

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - top level view

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - The Town Hall through the window

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - south east

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - there are acoustic panels, sound proofing, as standard to calm the transmission of sound through that great atrium

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - new roof terrace, 1960s' splendour and traditional tools in a 21st Century building

1 Angel SquareCity centre looking south

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - roof profile joy

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - view to Salford with the Manchester Arena in the foreground and Abito apartments setting sail behind

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - big train on the track in front of 'the Green Quarter'

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - Etihad Stadium 

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - The counter in the restaurant, same shape as the building

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - installing the acoustic panelling

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - decoration in the restaurant reflects the history of the Co-operative movement, there will be history panels at certain places across the buildings

1 Angel SquareThe restaurant terrace, high on the building, for staff to enjoy the views

1 Angel SquareThe double skin of the building that helps ventilation and also produces the distinctive profile

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the National Football Museum and No 1 Deansgate, lean the same way

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - er, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - break out area from the restaurant

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the reason for the sound proofing and acoustic panelling becomes apparent as each level is open to the atrium so sound spilling from other areas has to be contained

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the kit awaits the arrival of the staff

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - the only nasty surprise comes with the horrible grey carpet panels

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - food tasting kitchen

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - 'there's a hint of blackberry, notes of Stilton, tobacco, horse manure and rose water'

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - more food prep areas

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - every atrium needs a set of screens in the bright new world of modern offices 

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - underground auditorium for 280 has finishing touches applied

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square - it's all about recycling 

1 Angel Square1 Angel Square 

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

34 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2012.

What's with the wonky photographs? They're giving me a headache...

1 Response: Reply To This...
KJHOctober 16th 2012.

Strange to spend time typing that

Kevin PeelOctober 16th 2012.

Can't wait to get a tour.

EugeneOctober 16th 2012.

Well done 3D Reid...fantastic piece of architecture. Reminds me of the City Hall 'egg' on London's south bank. I am sure this will become iconic Manchester in a couple of years...

the Whalley RangerOctober 16th 2012.

Carpet tiles, I must agree.

Some traveller types may have realised by now that Manchester Airport is the only airport on the planet greeting visitors with this sort of floor finish.

It is also true, that if you fell over pulling your hand luggage or carrying your sprog etc, you would instantly contract MRSA.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2012.

How good would this have looked at that MediaCity site too. (Well, if somewhat smaller.) Ah, if only!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2012.

God damn them for building in a pretty poor area of the city.

Expansion should be discouraged!

AnonymousOctober 16th 2012.

Eh? Such a design would have looked fantastic at MediaCity TOO. Too, I said.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2012.

The reason you will never see the likes 1 Angel Square at Mediacity is that Peel simply wouldn't pay for this standard of architecture.

They're a quick buck kinda company with a corporate ethos diametrically opposed to that of the Co-op.

AnonymousOctober 18th 2012.

Actually, if Peel had invested in a decent masterplan, quality architecture and public space at Salford Quays they might not be faced with losing one of their biggest tenants as they are now. BUPA are reported to be moving out of Anchorage and into the city centre.

Lorraine ByrneOctober 16th 2012.

Looks great.

Poster BoyOctober 16th 2012.

...the real benefit of 1 Angel Square, should be the useful extension of the city by the creation of a Victoria Quarter, to compliment N4Q -it's a pity that the area is dominated by previous attempts at urban regeneration (sic) - a monolithic multi-storey car park and the Printworks people's pleasure palace.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
RevaulxOctober 17th 2012.

If you mean the multi-storey on top of the bus station, i think it's positively elegant compared to most such structures. The backside of the Printworks is truly awful though

Poster BoyOctober 18th 2012.

...an aesthetic judgement is not the point. Time will judge that it was built in the wrong place.

Liz PageOctober 17th 2012.

Beautiful Well done The Co-operative and all involved

AnonymousOctober 17th 2012.

Can't wait to move in!

GadgeOctober 17th 2012.

It does look beautiful. I'd love to be able to sit out on that terrace at night, with its low lights.
So if so many people are moving over to this compact building, what are their former offices becoming?

And can we have British English please... '14 storeys above ground'

SmittyOctober 17th 2012.

Stunning, brilliant addition to the city's skyline.

Gadge - storey is a British English word xx

AnonymousOctober 17th 2012.

Pity about the name above the door....Co-op. Kind of takes the shine of it, what-what?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 17th 2012.

How so?

Andrea TimoneyOctober 18th 2012.

AMAZING! Cannot wait to get down there with my camera.

AnonymousOctober 18th 2012.

What's with the all the spelling and grammar mistakes. Oh hang on, this is usual on this site isn't it!

AnonymousOctober 18th 2012.

Always wanted to see what it's like in inside the one ball testicle.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 22nd 2012.

Glad mine dont look like yours

AnonymousOctober 18th 2012.

look fantastic - i am so pleased, congratulations to the Co -op ... and now hope that more Mancon readers will stop shopping at the big capitalist-interest only supermarkets and choose the Co-operative ... they may be a bit more expensive but (mostly*) more ethical .. * the 'mostly' refers to the shock news that they werent paying farmers properly for milk. i wrote and complained strongly - presumably along with lots of others - and they upped their payments within days. Credit where credit is due - so rare in this world where we are all (mostly justifiably) so cynical

Barbara MooreOctober 22nd 2012.

Shame the building is going to be totally encircled by the fast moving traffic of the Manchester Inner City Ring Road.
Even more shameful that the Council agreed to the Co-op's demand to re-route the Ring Road up Angel Street despite all the complaints of local businesses and residents.
In my opinion this was a done deal even before the first foundation stone was laid and it makes me so angry nobody could stop the juggernaut that passes itself of as the Green and Caring Co-op.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 22nd 2012.

Barbara, Miller Street is in turn going to be a shadow of itself so the traffic is being deflected not increased. As long as they keep the cracking Angel Pub then the re-routing makes sense as it effectively pushes the city core northwards and links with Addington Street also more effectively. The bigger the better is what I think when it comes to the city centre.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerOctober 22nd 2012.


Calum McGOctober 22nd 2012.

Agree with a bigger city centre, but I feel extremely sorry for all the folk living right next door to the new bit of the ring road... many would not have expected that when purchasing their flats... it's a huge change and no amount of double glazing will keep the noise at bay.

Urban MagritteOctober 23rd 2012.

The city centre is the city centre. The countryside is the countryside.

Ceci n'est pas le countryside.

Poster BoyOctober 24th 2012.

The Inner Ring Road is starting to resemble anything but a "Ring"...

BobNovember 1st 2012.

what a beaut

Dave TaylorNovember 17th 2013.

Great job, well done to all involved. We should have more company's willing to shell out on stunning new designs. Sick and tired of people saying "they don't/can't build em like that these days". The only problem with "these days" is that nobody is willing to pay for stunning new architectural type buildings. We have more skills and obviously more technology now, than we ever have since time began. We just need a different mind set, and start shelling out the cash. Look at the "big 6" energy companies, where are all the profits going as they house their staff in big ugly square plain buildings ? Force the town planning department to turn down some of the new ugly plans, like the building on the edge of Piccadilly Gardens. How on earth did that get through the net. We could hardly ever become "The City of Culture" with those buildings shooting up. Enough said folks, I've had my rant, your turn now. Cheers.

Derek TrilloMarch 25th 2014.

It's been called lots of names that don't match the shape - am I the only one who sees the floorplan's triangle with rounded corners as a guitar plectrum?

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Aadil Khan

Its the most entertaining game that i have played robloxfreerobuxgenerator.com… and all should try…

 Read more

I know that this is an older article, but I have memories of my parents having to attend an…

 Read more
Jill B

I wud luv to tour the building as I worked as a telephonist at Millgate exchange Dial House in the…

 Read more

I started work at Dial House in 1946, as a trainee telephonist . Did any body else work at the…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord