AS MANCHESTER’S skyline continues to soar, and the pace of development gains ever more momentum, there’s one aspect that arguably remains lacking - green spaces. Enter property developers Allied London, who have announced plans for 'The Field', a 'cutting-edge but inherently sustainable' new green space to replace The Lawns in Hardman Square, Spinningfields.
A place of this calibre was always envisioned as part of the original Spinningfields masterplan
Designed to complement the nineteen-storey No. 1 Spinningfields office - Manchester’s highest specified commercial building, due for completion in 2017 - the area will be home to several bars and restaurants, along with a new timber structure called The Pavilion (main image).
Greened and softened with landscaped ledges and trellises, this will feature tiered seating and street furniture, and be a ‘destination for city dwellers to relax and socialise’. Allied London will invite selected leisure operators to pitch for the chance to trade at the Pavilion, following the submission of a planning application shortly.
A ‘green veil’ is to intertwine the Pavilion and The Field, which will additionally boast interlinking footpaths and planted areas throughout, designed by local architects Sheppard Robson.
Work is due to start later this year.
Michael Ingall, Allied London’s Chief Executive, said: “The Field will be a space with a personality. Inspired by a true story, continuing on a legacy, The Field will reinvigorate the vision of a nineteenth century girl who fought to retain green space in Manchester."
Ingall refers to the inspiration behind the new public realm, Eleanor Byrom (1756-1838), a member of the wealthy Byrom family who used to tend to the native flora in the field opposite her home - now Hardman Square.
“A place of this calibre was always envisioned as part of the original Spinningfields masterplan and will become a home from home for resident workers at Spinningfields, especially those based at No.1 Spinningfields, who will have this iconic new structure on their doorstep.
“We hope it will be a legacy, not only to the remarkable story of ‘The Field’, but also to the financial crisis of 2008, a crisis that put a stop to the development plans for several years. Out of crisis comes opportunity. In this case the overwhelming success this area enjoyed as temporary public realm with The Lawn Club seemed to add more value to the place than any building could ever do. It has ensured the opportunity to keep it free for people to enjoy and continue something exceptional and striking.
“Now seems an apt time in the wake of Brexit to reinvigorate that sense of hope and in true British style, to keep calm and carry on.”