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Winners Of St Peter's Square Competition Announced

This is the Council's version. we'll retire and consider and respond next week

Written by . Published on May 17th 2012.

Winners Of St Peter's Square Competition Announced

The winners of an international design competition for leading architects to come up with plans to transform St Peter's Square into a world-class space have been announced by Manchester City Council.

A design team led by German landscape architect Latz + Partner have been selected to make their vision a reality.

We feel honoured to have the task of turning Manchester's vision to create a world-class space into reality. 

At the heart of the plans for St Peter's Square is the idea of a wide, open urban square which celebrates the architecture of the surrounding buildings.

A high quality ‘carpet of paving' will blend the square in with nearby areas while a grove of decorative trees will be planted and positioned to frame views and complement existing trees.

The Cenotaph would be sensitively relocated within the square and the cross marking the historic site of St Peter's Church enhanced by placing it on a plinth equal to the height of the Central Library colonnade.

Meanwhile the relocation of the existing St Peter's Square tram stop to the corner of Princess Street and Mosley Street as part of the proposed Metrolink 2nd City Crossing scheme will open up the square in front of Central Library, enabling views and movement from all directions.

A planning application will be submitted later this summer and will include plans for a Peterloo Memorial, which are still being developed.

Plans for a new landmark to reinvigorate Library Walk are also being integrated with the St Peter's Square plans.

The striking glass and highly-polished stainless steel structure will provide a link between Central Library and the Town Hall Extension, enabling direct access from both sides into the buildings.

A planning application has now been submitted for the new entrance, designed by Ian Simpson Architects, which will also reinstate the quick route between St Peter's Square and Mount Street.

The new ground floor link between the two Grade II*-listed buildings will be mirrored by a newly-created underground link at lower ground floor level.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "St Peter's Square is an important public space which has not been living up to anything like its full potential.

"But we believe the regenerated square will be a symbol of both the city's heritage and its growing international standing - somewhere Manchester and Mancunians can be proud of.

"It will provide a high quality setting for the Town Hall and Central Library and support other investment in the Civic Quarter, which will be vitally important to the city's growth over the coming years.

"We are already seeing private sector-led new office development at One St Peter's Square and are expecting further planning applications in the months ahead.”

Sonja Hlawna, project lead for Latz + Partner said: "We feel honoured to have the task of turning Manchester's vision to create a world-class space into reality. The redesign of St Peter's Square is a crucial step in the Town Hall Complex transformation programme and we are convinced that the future square will constitute an outstanding place in the fabric of the city of Manchester.

"It is our ambition to make the square more generous while respecting the context to unlock its full potential. We look forward to the challenge of creating an inspiring place for its citizens at the heart of Manchester.”

The rest of the design team consists of Arup Associates (Transport, Structural and Civil Enginering) and Speirs and Major (Lighting Design).






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

Ghostly TomMay 17th 2012.

This was the one I liked. The trees look great and there's no wall cutting off the Cenotaph from the rest of the square. The last thing that Manchester needed was another stained concrete wall.

Ghostly TomMay 17th 2012.

I wonder if the are going to return the other sculptures to the square. There was the one of the lady with the pigeons which I liked. And there was the one that used to be in Piccadilly Gardens of the people who looked like they were in a ship wreck. They had just set it up when it disappeared behind the screening boards....

AnonymousMay 18th 2012.

They're getting into a right lather over on the MEN website about the fact it's a German architect firm. It would be funny if it wasn't so embarrassing.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 19th 2012.

Who cares what nationality the designers are - the actual quality of design and workmanship are what is important. All we want is for it to look great and to all work properly.

Calum McGJune 1st 2012.

I like Germans and I don't care who designed it! I really like the design and hope it is executed as elegantly as it appears here.

Kevin PeelMay 18th 2012.

I'm rather disappointed. I thought the other option was much better.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomMay 18th 2012.

This was definitely the better option. The other had yet another stained concrete wall hiding the Cenotaph and the trees squeezed up against the buildings so you can't see the buildings. Also it gave the impression that the entire square was a tram stop. This is a far superior scheme. I really like the shady trees.

Poster BoyMay 25th 2012.

I'm rather disappointed too Kevin. The 'Deansgate' option is by far the better...
It would not preclude the transformation of St Peter's Square, and offers greater benefits to the City as a whole. A big, big opportunity lost.

AnonymousMay 18th 2012.

Very nice images and everything. However, with the expansion of the Metrolink network over the next few years, trams will be as much an important part of the square as the pretty purple trees.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 18th 2012.

... they appear to have edited out the tram lines in favour of a flash visual.

AnonymousMay 18th 2012.

I really kind of like the look of that. I think they're pretty brave to get rid of that road and turn it all into a pedestrian zone as per the first and third image but I still wish the blooming trams were sent underground. Imagine the space we'd have, glorious.

Suitably not green as well.

Theresa EvansMay 19th 2012.

Manchester is a great city but does not have enough open green spaces. where's the grass? City parks with meandering paths amongst shady trees and grassed areas would be appreciated, even on a small scale.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
KieranMay 20th 2012.

Like what's already there!? (-A grimy pidgeon & tramp-filled garden I've never walked through!)
I agree Manchester needs more green spaces but this area wouldn't provide much of use.
What needs to be done is take some of the disused wasteland greedy landowners sit on for decades and build simple (& cheap) parks for local taxpayers to enjoy! Rant over!

Poster BoyMay 25th 2012.

Whilst many of the great European cities have hard, rather than soft, public spaces, there are examples of green spaces that do work; like Sheffield's Peace Gardens. Good design, properly cleaned and maintained, and patrolled on a zero tolerance basis, with a strict useage policy.
One of the lessons the City must learn after it's last 'Grand Project'/debacle at Piccadilly Gardens.

Steve RomanMay 22nd 2012.

Still no mention of the dedicated memorial plaques, the trees planted as memorials or the major pieces of public art, The Messenger of Peace and Adrift, that stood in or near the Peace Garden.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomMay 25th 2012.

I wondered what was going to happen to those pieces of art work as well.

Poster BoyMay 25th 2012.

The winning commission should be extended to include the Mosley Street corridor. Time for Bruntwood and the City to step up. The opportunity needs to be taken now.

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