One Angel Square

Last updated
One Angel Square
The Co-operative Group Building
One Angel Square during night, December 2012.jpg
One Angel Square from the adjacent CIS Tower
General information
Type High rise office
Architectural style Contemporary /
Sustainable architecture
Location NOMA, Manchester,
Greater Manchester,
AddressOne Angel Square [1]
M60 0AG
Current tenants The Co-operative Group [2]
Construction started16 July 2010 [3] [4]
CompletedMarch 2013
Inaugurated14 November 2013 [5] [6]
Cost£105 million (build cost) [7]
£142 million (2013 sale cost) [8]
Gingko Investments (2013-2038)
Height72.5 metres (238 ft)
Technical details
Structural systemThree concrete cores
Steel / Glass frame [9]
Floor count14
Design and construction
Structural engineer Buro Happold (Structural , MEP, and fire engineering) [10]
Waagner Biro (Double skin façade) [11]
Other designers Mecanoo and Royal Haskoning (Landscape architect) [11]
Main contractorBAM Construction [12]
Gardiner & Theobold [13]
Awards and prizes See below

One Angel Square [1] is an office building in Manchester, England. Construction work began in 2010 and was completed in February 2013. The landmark building is the head office of the Co-operative Group. Standing 72.5 metres (237.8 feet) tall, the building forms the centrepiece of the new £800 million NOMA development in the Angel Meadows area of Manchester city centre. The building cost at least £105 million to construct and was sold on leaseback terms in 2013 for £142 million.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city itself is the sixth-largest in the United Kingdom with a population of 545,500 as of 2017, but it lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Headquarters Location where an organizations key leadership and coordination functions take place

Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility for managing all business activities. In the United Kingdom, the term head office is most commonly used for the HQs of large corporations. The term is also used regarding military organizations.

The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group, trading as the Co-op, is a British consumer co-operative with a diverse family of retail businesses including food retail and wholesale; electrical retail; financial services; insurance services; legal services and funeralcare, with in excess of 4,200 locations. It is the largest consumer co-operative in the UK and owned by more than 4.5 million active members. Membership is open to everyone, provided they agree to subscribe £1 sterling in the capital of the society and share the values & principles upon which the group was founded. Members are democratically involved in setting business strategy, decide how social goals are achieved, and share in its profits – in 2016, £19m was returned to members and their chosen local community causes via the 5+1 scheme. No year end dividend was paid in 2015.


One Angel Square is one of the most sustainable large buildings in Europe and is built to a BREEAM 'Outstanding' rating. [12] It is powered by a biodiesel cogeneration plant using rapeseed oil to provide electricity and heat. [10] The structure makes use of natural resources, maximising passive solar gain for heat and using natural ventilation through its double-skin facade, adiabatic cooling, rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling and waste heat recycling. [15]

Sustainable energy Principle of using energy without compromising the needs of future generations

Sustainable energy is a principle in which human use of energy "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainable energy strategies generally have two pillars: cleaner methods of producing energy and energy conservation.

BREEAM, first published by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, is the world's longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. More than 250,000 buildings have been BREEAM-certified and over a million are registered for certification – in more than 50 countries worldwide. BREEAM also has a tool which focuses on neighborhood development.

Biodiesel vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel

Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol producing fatty acid esters.

The building's distinctive form has been compared to a sliced egg and a ship. [16] Its design was announced by architects 3DReid in May 2009 and construction began in July 2010 with a projected completion date in March 2013. In December 2012, the scheme surpassed its pan-European sustainability aims and achieved a world-record BREEAM score of 95.32%. [17] It is also an energy-plus building, producing surplus energy and zero carbon emissions. The building has received numerous awards for its striking aesthetic and sustainability aims.

Ship Large buoyant watercraft

A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying passengers or goods, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research and fishing. Historically, a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit. Ships are generally distinguished from boats, based on size, shape, load capacity, and tradition.


An energy-plus house produces more energy from renewable energy sources, over the course of a year, than it imports from external sources. This is achieved using a combination of microgeneration technology and low-energy building techniques, such as: passive solar building design, insulation and careful site selection and placement. A reduction of modern conveniences can also contribute to energy savings, however many energy-plus houses are almost indistinguishable from a traditional home, preferring instead to use highly energy-efficient appliances, fixtures, etc., throughout the house.

Zero-energy building

A zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, net-zero energy building (NZEB), net zero building or zero-carbon building is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, or in other definitions by renewable energy sources elsewhere. These buildings consequently contribute less overall greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than similar non-ZNE buildings. They do at times consume non-renewable energy and produce greenhouse gases, but at other times reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas production elsewhere by the same amount. A similar concept approved and implemented by the European Union and other agreeing countries is nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB), with the goal of having all buildings in the region under nZEB standards by 2020.


A CGI image of the proposed design, announced in May 2009. Exterior view of The Co-operative Group's new head office.jpg
A CGI image of the proposed design, announced in May 2009.


The Co-operative Group announced plans to move from its headquarters on Miller Street and Corporation Street to a new site in the Greater Manchester area in 2008. [18] From 2008 to 2011, the group grew strongly according to CEO Peter Marks, membership doubled to six million and revenue and profits also doubled. [19] Takeovers of Somerfield and the Britainnia Building Society fuelled impetus for new head offices to accommodate the growth. [20]

Corporation Street, Manchester street in Manchester, England

Corporation Street is one of Manchester city centre's major streets. It runs from Dantzic Street to the junction of Cross Street and Market Street. Major buildings located on or adjacent to the street include the Manchester Arndale, Exchange Square, The Printworks, Urbis and New Century Hall next to the CIS Tower.

Greater Manchester County of England

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, and designated a functional city region on 1 April 2011.

Peter Vincent Marks CBE is an English businessman, and the former chief executive of the member-owned retailer The Co-operative Group.

In December 2008, the group announced it would remain in Manchester city centre and would regenerate land opposite its Miller Street base. [21] The new building is close to Angel Meadow, the site of a 19th-century slum once described by Friedrich Engels as "hell on earth". [22] Archaeologists conducted a survey in 2010, which continued into 2012. [23]

Manchester city centre central business district of the City of Manchester, England

Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England, within the boundaries of Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and Whitworth Street. The City Centre ward had a population of 17,861 at the 2011 census.

Friedrich Engels German social scientist, author, political theorist, and philosopher

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, communist, social scientist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England and in Barmen, Prussia.

The CIS Tower and the Co-operative Bank's Balloon Street headquarters are unaffected by the development. [24] New Century Hall, home to Co-operative Food, [25] the Dantzic, Hanover, Redfern and Federation Buildings will be vacated and renovated for let. [26]

CIS Tower skyscraper on Miller Street in Manchester, England

The CIS Tower is an office skyscraper on Miller Street in Manchester, England. It was completed in 1962 and rises to 387 feet in height. The Grade II listed building, which houses the Co-operative Banking Group, is Manchester's third-tallest building and the tallest office building in the United Kingdom outside London. The tower remained as built for over 40 years until maintenance issues on the service tower required an extensive renovation which included covering its facade in photovoltaic panels.

The Co-operative Bank plc is a retail and commercial bank in the United Kingdom, with its headquarters in Balloon Street, Manchester.

Hanover Building grade II listed architectural structure in Manchester, United kingdom

Hanover Building is an Grade II office building in the NOMA district of Manchester, United Kingdom.

In 2011 the Co-operative announced the NOMA project, north of Manchester city centre, to regenerate a 20-acre site with office, retail, residential and hotel space to encourage visitors from the city centre. Manchester City Council contributed £20m to the project as an incentive for redevelopment. [27]

In December 2011, the Co-operative announced its new headquarters would be known as One Angel Square. [1]


One Angel Square as viewed from the CIS Tower nearing completion in October 2012. One Angel Square from CIS Tower, Oct 2012.jpg
One Angel Square as viewed from the CIS Tower nearing completion in October 2012.

Construction work began in July 2010 soon after planning permission was granted. [28] The first task was installing the 539 pile foundations - each at an average depth of 18 metres. [29] Work soon began on assembling the 3,300 tonnes of steel and 1,948 coffered concrete floor slabs which make up the structure of the building. [29] BAM Construction was the main building contractor with cost management, project management and CDM coordination provided by Gardiner & Theobald. [30] Specialist services were supplied by Buro Happold for structural and fire engineering [10] and Austrian-based Waagner Biro was commissioned to build the double skin façade. [11] The structure was digitally modelled by BAM before commencing assembly and construction to improve safety and create a building schedule thus saving time during the construction process. [31]

More than 4,000 workers from over 90 companies were involved in the building's construction making it the largest building site outside South East England. [24] [32] The building was topped out in November 2011 and work began assembling the bronze-coloured diagonal panels of exterior façade. [33] The panels were installed using roped access techniques. [34]

An estimated £17m of building materials out of the total £100m cost has been locally sourced reducing embodied energy and minimising environmental impact. [35] Mecanoo and Manchester-based Royal Haskoning designed the landscape in front of the building. [11]

Inauguration and opening

South facade Angel Square, front facade.jpg
South facade

Construction and fitting out was originally scheduled for completion in September 2012, [36] however opening was postponed to 2013 due to delays in the fitting out process. [5] In July 2012, the Co-operative Group announced One Angel Square was on the market for £150 million on leaseback terms so it could gain capital to invest in Phase Two of the NOMA development. [37] The leaseback sale attracted nine bids from six continents. [38] In February 2013, the Group sold the building for £142 million to DWS and Gingko Tree Investments, an investment arm backed by the Chinese sovereign wealth fund. [8]


CGI images of the building with future site context
NOMA skyline.jpg
NOMA CGI 2.jpg
The NOMA development around One Angel Square is due to be completed by 2027. An international architecture competition was launched in 2011. [39]

The Manchester division of 3DReid designed the building with a brief to create a green, landmark building for the city. The building's distinctive form was conceived in a notebook sketch by the lead architect for the building, Mike Hitchmough. [40] The form was refined and developed, before being unveiled to the public in May 2009. [41]

The building's interior primarily consists of open plan space and can accommodate up to 4,000 staff. [42] The building has 327,643 sq ft (30,439 sq m) of total space - approximately 29,000 sq ft (2,694 sq m) per floor. [28] In keeping with the building's green credentials, employees will be encouraged to use public transport or cycle to work. Facilities have been created to encourage cycling by providing 105 cycle stands. [43]


The building has been nicknamed the 'sliced egg' because of its distinctive shape. [16] A focal point is the diagonal slice which creates a nine-floor high atrium with its glass roof tilted towards the south, maximising daylight and passive solar gain. [44] The structure has three internal concrete cores in the form of an equilateral triangle. [44] Steel was utilised as the building main material; its strength allows for large column-free floors needed in an open plan building. [9]

The building's exterior has a double skin facade with a cavity between its inner windows and the outer glass panel structure. The double skin facade is for sustainability and aesthetic reasons - and allows for greater control of heating and ventilation, and accentuates the three curved corners of the building. To accentuate the form further, the exterior aluminium structure holding the glass panels in place has been anodised in a bronze-coloured finish, so it will shimmer in the sun. The facade was originally to be powder-coated but the client decided to spend an additional £120,000 on a bronze anodised finish. This excess was justified as being cheaper over 50 years than using a powder-coated finish which would require maintenance. [45] The building's form has been compared with The Ark and City Hall in London. [45]


Detail of the double skin facade that increases natural ventilation. There is a walkway between the inner and exterior facade panels for maintenance and solar shading. Co op Building dual facade.jpg
Detail of the double skin façade that increases natural ventilation. There is a walkway between the inner and exterior façade panels for maintenance and solar shading.

The building is one of the largest in Europe to have a BREEAM outstanding distinction as a result of its high, sustainable energy credentials. [46] In December 2011 the building achieved the highest recorded BREEAM score, making it one of the most sustainable large buildings in the world. [17]

The open atrium faces south to collect heat from the sun, an example of passive solar building design. [46] The diagonal slice is angled to the south to allow sunlight to pass into the upper floors and atrium. The sun emits electromagnetic radiation in the form of ultraviolet, but changes to infrared when it passes through glass. This creates heat inside the building and overheating will be countered by five stepped curved shades above the atrium which prevent sunlight overheating the building and stops glare. In winter, louvres atop the double-skin façade are closed to maintain the warm air generated in the building. In summer, the opposite occurs and louvres atop the double-skin façade open and consequently expel hot, rising air from the building to reduce overheating. [47]

The building's sustainable cogeneration heat and power plant uses bio-fuel and waste cooking oil. Its computer systems will recycle waste heat. The building has a used water recycling system and rainwater harvesting. [46] Thermal mass materials which have a high density such as concrete are used to control temperature fluctuations.


One Angel Square is the only commercial building in the United Kingdom to achieve maximum ratings in energy and sustainability performance by the three main rating systems. [48] It has BREEAM 'Outstanding' accreditation and an A-rated Energy Performance Certificate and Display Energy Certificate.

The building has been awarded:

See also

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Coordinates: 53°29′17″N2°14′14″W / 53.4880°N 2.2373°W / 53.4880; -2.2373