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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

40 Spring Gardens, Manchester, UK by SpaceInvader

May 8th, 2024 by Sanjay Gangal

Article Source:Caroline Collett

Office building 40 Spring Gardens is located at the heart of Manchester’s central business district and forms part of the Aviva Manchester Hub, a group of five linked city centre properties developed by Aviva Investors. SpaceInvader was part of the team tasked with transforming these properties over recent years, ensuring they offer tenants the very best in contemporary design and workplace thinking. The newly-completed 40 Spring Gardens refurbishment follows previous collaborations between SpaceInvader and Aviva at 201 Deansgate and 11 York Street.

Project Title: 40 Spring Gardens
Company: SpaceInvader
Location: Manchester
Status: Completed 2023
Sector: Commercial
Client: Aviva Investors

The design refresh covered all the building’s common parts, re-imagining the visitor and tenant journey from on-street presence through a spacious ground floor atrium and reception to the lounge area at its rear. The remit also took in the building’s lift lobbies and interiors, back-of-house facilities and a brand-new bike storage and shower / bathroom facility, constructed on previous basement car parking space to encourage greener commuting. The design team additionally carried out a Cat A refurbishment of several floors of office space within the 9-storey building. The full team on the project included contractor Overbury, project managers Avid, cost consultants RLB and M&E consultants David Webb Associates.

For the concept, SpaceInvader sought to give the space a new lease of life and reflect its prestigious address in some style, given it’s surrounded by buildings of historic stature, including a number of listed buildings, and is located at the centre of an area once home to Manchester’s banking industry and now housing high-end hotels and designer retail outlets as well as future-facing offices.

Research at the outset of the project revealed that, in the Middle Ages, the site was home to natural springs. This natural past, combined with the development’s address, inspired a refined and elegant design concept, that speaks of the building’s upmarket location but also centres on the idea of change, in the form of natural seasonal and daytime transitions. This fed into the scheme’s lighting design, which mimics circadian rhythms, and associations with freshness and new growth, applied to the space through texture, form and colour palette.A_rear_lounge_space_lies_beyond_the_speed_gates

The visitor journey begins externally with a newly-redesigned entrance, where the inset door area is internally-clad in a corrugated metal panel system, introducing a stylish vertical line design language that is continued throughout the atrium space via different wall coverings and acoustic installations.

The development’s new branding was designed by cab studios, with both design companies collaborating on the new designs for signage, which is backlit, with edge-lighting also framing the entrance portal. To increase the ‘dark into light’ drama of entry, the glazing above the entrance door now has an added vinyl covering to create a darker entrance tunnel to contrast with the lighter space beyond.

The interior of the atrium has been stripped out and completely redesigned. Rather than crowding the space with co-working set-ups, the idea was to retain a sense of airy calm. Breakout seating is provided to the rear of the space in the form of a series of bespoke 1 and 2-person booths, along with lounge seating (including Paloma Plush Lounge Chairs by Boss Design).

The initial entrance area boasts a dark and dramatic treatment. Live sculptural planting to the right – by Urban Planters – features changing inset plants to underscore the idea of seasonal transition, whilst the dramatic lighting here changes gradually throughout the day from warm and golden in the morning and at dusk (nature’s ‘golden hours’), to cooler and whiter in the middle of the day. Four vertical wall lights add visual interest just before the reception desk (itself lit from the inside and glowing like a lightbox), with their form echoing the thin vertical lines in the scheme’s design, along with the lightweight concrete panelling on the atrium walls. Both entrance walls are also top-lit for added drama.

One of the project’s standout features is its central hanging lighting installation by llll, seen immediately on entry. The fluid forms of this contemporary chandelier – with each pendant element selected and arranged by the SpaceInvader team – reflect the design intent perfectly and feature fabric panels edged with tuneable white LEDs, which also change colour temperature throughout the day, mimicking circadian rhythms.

New speed gates lead guests from reception into the rear lounge space, where natural light floods in from the glass ceiling above. A lounge seating area is inspired by the ‘golden hour’ lighting concept with lots of gold and yellow tones, arranged on a circular rug with a rippling texture. To the left of the space, four seating booths sit within soft, curved arches in a space that formerly housed a dedicated staircase to the first floor, taken out to create a more generous floorplan. The booth interiors are clad in acoustic panelling, repeating the fine vertical lines, whilst the rear wall is made up of backlit panels set within a joinery framework featuring a laminate by Egger.The_project_included_a_Cat_A_refurbishment_of_several_floors_of_the_9-storey_building

The lift lobby area features a new pale timber laminate wall surround, referencing the scheme’s elegant natural theme, whilst the lift interior features a leaf-pattern manifestation. The same materials are used for the back-of-house bathrooms, whilst the brand-new cycle-and-shower basement area is linked in design terms, though also hardier and more industrial in feel. The space features strong graphics, including floor stripes in black and white, interesting lighting arrangements and cycle cages made of metal mesh, painted dark gold.


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Categories: Building, Commercial Area, Commercial Building, Interiors

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