case study

case study

express building

  • Client: Wittington Investments (Properties) Ltd
  • Location: Manchester City Centre
  • Sector: Offices

project overview

On behalf of Wittington Investments (Properties) Ltd, Zerum secured full planning and listed building consent for the refurbishment of the Express Buildings, Manchester.  Zerum negotiated consents without any pre-commencement conditions to allow an immediate start on site to fit with the client’s programme.

The 78,900 sq ft Grade ll* listed building sits on Great Ancoats Street and is recognised as one of Manchester’s most iconic building’s, representing one of the very few art deco buildings and the largest of its type in the city.  It was the former printing press of the Daily Express paper until the 1990’s when the presses were removed, and the building converted to offices.  There are sister buildings on Fleet Street, London and Glasgow.

The scheme will see the 7-storey building extensively refurbished to return it to a condition which respects its former use and design but also provides high-specification modern office space.

The Ben Adams Architect’s design includes a completely redesigned reception, with the installation of a café, and the cutting-back of the ground floor slab to reveal views into the lower ground floor, as with the original building design when printing presses occupied this space.  A new feature staircase will link the lower ground and ground floors, and the mirrored glazing film will be removed to allow greater street activation.  The internal floors will be stripped out and the original architecture celebrated throughout the building. A new mezzanine floor will be installed on the sixth floor.

The building has been vacant for years despite being located between the thriving Northern Quarter and Ancoats, which is undergoing significant transformation.  The offices are being designed to appeal to Manchester’s thriving tech and digital sectors.

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