motel one, manchester

The project is a part seven, part fourteen storey, 330 bed hotel with bar and breakfast facilities constructed over a basement, operated by Motel One, a German operator that provides a high quality hotel product at an affordable price.

The design seeks to reconcile the scale differences between the buildings that surround the site, wrapping around a retained public house, whilst affording an appropriate backdrop and foil to the adjacent Grade II* listed London Road Fire Station. The volumes are elemental in their form, the façade rhythms repetitive and the palette of external materials is restrained and calm.

The external cladding is predominantly acid-etched pre-cast concrete with a hydrophobic coating. The colour of the pre-cast concrete is a light, Portland stone finish in response to the pre-cast finishes within Argent’s adjoining Piccadilly Place office development.

The window frames are bronze anodized aluminium. Likewise the recessive, re-entrant elements that link the various blocks together are clad in bronze anodized aluminium cladding. This finish reflects the faience of the Fire Station and the cladding to 3 Piccadilly Place as well as being a lightweight material as an appropriate counterpoint to the pre-cast concrete cladding.

Above the ground floor transfer slab, the whole construction (walls, floors, external wall build-up and shower pods) was manufactured off-site. It is loadbearing, with no frame, each floor being erected in 1.5 weeks.

‘The quality of the acid-etched façade and smoothness of the internal faces are excellent. The quality of the finish is the outstanding aspect of this structure’.

The Judges, Concrete Society Awards 2016