Premier Inn, Manchester
Premier Inn Hotel
Roger Stephenson Architects
In the heart of Manchester’s city centre, on the edge of a key conservation area, the Premier Inn is a new build hotel providing 193 bedrooms over 12 storeys. The £10m flagship hotel is situated in an ideal location for Premier Inn’s target customers, commuters and visitors; on the junction of three busy city centre routes and near Manchester’s Piccadilly Station and central shops and restaurants.
The design concept, proposed by Manchester’s Roger Stephenson Architects, was based around the idea of a solid mass that had formed and been carved away. Key to the development, was the need to visually integrate the new build with the surrounding local architecture, whilst adding some modern design features. Manchester’s city centre is home to a mix of Victorian warehouses, many of which are listed buildings, therefore it was crucial that the appropriate facade material was selected to meet the design specification.
Taylor Maxwell were approached to advise and support this development and, relying on a comprehensive local knowledge, assisted the specification of two types of European facing bricks, previously used in Manchester and supported by Manchester City Council. A total of circa 70,000 facing bricks were supplied by Taylor Maxwell, alongside a phenolic-backed brick slip system and mineral wool boards.
The chosen palette of materials was selected by the architect to include a reflective black brick to provide a sense of depth to the building’s elevations, whilst the carved elements of the building are expressed with the use of a matt black facing brick. “Due to the scale of the building, a standard matt black brick would have made the building appear slightly brutal and oppressive,” added Andrew Edmunds from Roger Stephenson Architects, “we wanted to specify a black brick which would provide the facade with a depth of colour and reflective nature that would change as you walk around the building”. The palette selected is noted to emulate the appearance of nearby railway arches on the approach to Piccadilly Station.
Taylor Maxwell’s Chris Taylor commented, “To assist with speed of construction and as a result of a number of challenges arising from the constrained site right in the heart of the city, it was decided that the building would be constructed using off site precast concrete panels with the brick slips laid in-situ”.
The innovative sandwich panel construction technique was used to construct the shell of the hotel, which allowed contractors Russells Construction to erect all 11 upper floors at a rate of one per week, saving an overall build time of three months on traditional brickwork installation and enabling project delivery ahead of schedule. The precast panels, including the insulation, brickwork and glazing elements, were able to be completed off-site under strict factory quality conditions, which provided an ideal solution for this controlled build.
The precast concrete system has been hailed for its speed of construction and aesthetic finish. The system also helps to improve safety, particularly on a constricted city centre site, with the need for scaffolding, bricklayers and glaziers working at a height removed, and panels being installed with a single tower crane.
This hotel is Premier Inn’s fourth operation in Manchester city centre and has helped to meet demand driven by Manchester’s conferences, sports and entertainment events.
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