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5 great commercial properties in Manchester

PropertySales.com

The Lowry

Manchester's commercial districts are undergoing a period of rapid expansion and development.

Alongside more traditional office buildings and high-rise complexes, a number of more unusual buildings have appeared.

Interior designs are also moving from the traditional office silos or generic open plan layouts to less conventional designs.

In this article we take a look at five weird and wonderful buildings and office spaces around the city.

Freemasons' Hall

Located at the heart of Manchester's commercial sector, Freemasons' Hall, as its name suggests, has long been the home of the Manchester masons, and comes complete with grand entrance halls, huge marble pillars, and European-style galleries.

Now used mainly as a conference and banqueting facility, this is a Grade II listed building with serious kerb appeal.

Constructed in 1929, the building can be found close to the vibrant area of Spinningfields, and underwent major refurbishment in 2014 to make it a leading venue for conferences. A roof terrace has been recently added.

Daily Express Building

Located on Great Ancoats Street, the Daily Express Building is a huge art deco construction boasting immense glass facades, and modern-looking curved stylings.

The building was actually put up in 1939, yet still looks contemporary in the 21st Century. The "youngest" Grade II listed building in the city, the building was constructed as the Northern home of the Express newspaper empire and also features a large roof turret and cantilever roof railings.

Refurbished several times following the newspaper company's departure in the 1980s, the building is now partially used as apartments, but retains a large swathe of commercial office space.

Lowry Centre

One of Manchester's most striking and recognisable complexes, the Lowry Centre was constructed in 1999 as part of the ongoing regeneration of Salford Quays.

Now featuring a prominent theatre and concert venue alongside a shopping centre, gallery space, and library archives, the Lowry is a multipurpose business and entertainment centre with great transport links.

Set on the Quays waterfront, the Lowry is clad in glass and stainless steel, and features a triangular design surrounded by a promenade. Its iconic facades make it a much-photographed attraction for locals and tourists alike.

Manchester Town Hall

A huge neo-gothic structure sited in the heart of Manchester, the Town Hall offers tens of thousands of square feet of office and commercial space for council and local government departments.

Incorporating a distinctive clock tower which rises to almost 300 feet, the building boasts a host of gothic features alongside busts and statues of prominent Manchester citizens such as John Dalton.

Internally, a major feature is the Great Hall with its famous mosaic floor and lofty space. Completed in 1877, the Town Hall is a Grade I listed building and often said to be among the best examples of Gothic Revival structures in the world.

Britannia Hotel

Constructed in 1856, the former Watts Warehouse was one of Manchester's largest and most well-known textile factories during the cotton trade era. It was built from sandstone and fashioned to look like a Venetian palazzo.

The building's five storeys each have a distinctive period feel, from Elizabethan to Italian Renaissance.

To mark British losses during the First World War, the owners commissioned a statue, known as "the Sentry", and this remains on view today near to an accompanying marble plaque. The building was bought and converted to a hotel by the Britannia Hotels chain in 1982, and retains many of its original features, both inside and out.


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