Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester will be the focal point of a major city centre redesign, it has been revealed.
Architects LDA Design will lead a team in creating detailed new plans for the historic area of the city, ahead of a full planning application to be submitted to Manchester City Council next year.
Arup, and quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald, will work alongside LDA Design.
Designers United Creatives, artist Nayan Kulkarni, CPTED UK, design agency The Liminal Space, and consultancy Authentic Futures, will also support the plans.
Other teams on the shortlist were led by West8, Planit-IE, and Studio Egret West.
The aim is to create an “attractive, high-quality public realm” and a place where “families can enjoy spending time”, with planting to encourage biodiversity and improve air quality.
“The overall aim is to create a special, valued, flexible place with a strong sense of identity, and one that is fully accessible and designed to promote safety with well-lit and clear sightlines,” said LDA Design.
LDA’s design includes children’s play facilities and links to London Road.
The 10-acre site also includes Mosley Street, Parker Street, the section of Portland Street which runs alongside Piccadilly Gardens and the section of Piccadilly which borders the Gardens.
The design will retain the existing listed monuments and statues, and tramlines and infrastructure as well as the existing Pavilion structure.
“We’re based in the city’s Northern Quarter, and our team uses Piccadilly Gardens every day, so we take great pride in having a role in creating a new future for the space,” said Mark Graham, a director at LDA Design.
“The city deserves a beautiful public space that showcases all that is great about Manchester and brings the city together.
“We want the Gardens to feel strongly Mancunian, in a very special way that delivers a lasting legacy.
“We can’t wait to work with the community to shape our ideas and hear what people think.”
Council leader, Cllr Bev Craig, added: “People have strong views about Piccadilly Gardens and serious work is continuing to realise its potential as an outstanding, welcoming public space – somewhere people want to linger, not just pass through.
“Today is about appointing the experts who will help produce a plan that will take the views of Mancunians very much into account.”
(Image credit: Alan Heardman, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons).
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