Piccadilly Gardens is a green space in Manchester city centre, England, between Market Street and the edge of the Northern Quarter. Piccadilly runs eastwards from the junction of Market Street with Mosley Street to the junction of London Road with Ducie Street; to the south are the gardens and paved areas. The area was reconfigured in 2002 with a water feature and concrete pavilion by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
The square at Piccadilly Gardens has been for many years the central hub of Manchester's public transport system. The square is only five minutes' walk from the mainline Manchester Piccadilly railway station and 10 minutes walk from Manchester Victoria railway station.
As part of the ongoing regeneration of the city centre, the city council had set up an international competition for the redesign of Piccadilly Gardens. The winners – announced in 1998 from a short-list that had been whittled down to six – were the landscape architects EDAW and its partners, consisting of: the engineers Arup; renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando; local architects Chapman Robinson; and lighting engineer, Peter Fink.The square was finally revamped in 2001–02, to include new green space and fountains (by EDAW), and a pavilion (by Tadao Ando) which partially functions to shield the gardens from the transport interchange. At the same time One Piccadilly Gardens was constructed on the eastern edge of the square. The resulting space was radically different from the old gardens, and the only links to the past that remained were the original statues. The redesign was part of the massive construction process that covered Manchester in the buildup to the city hosting the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Previously the square was becoming increasingly run down and was considered unsafe. At a contract cost of around £10 million Piccadilly Gardens was renovated and ended up being shortlisted in 2003 for the Prime Minister's Better Public Building Award. Part of the area was built on to help fund the redevelopment.
The redevelopment of the Gardens soon came under fire for its "cold, modernistic" design. [ citation needed ]The concrete partition wall was dubbed the "Berlin Wall" by locals, and the hastily turfed grass regularly turned to mud after some public use. It continues to be returfed regularly. The fountains, whilst popular with children in the summer, have also been subject to scrutiny, with broken glass regularly an issue. One Piccadilly Gardens is also controversial, not only for the sale of public land to private enterprise, but also because it dominates the skyline in the area, and blocks sunlight from the south-east.
Piccadilly Gardens has a major public transport interchange where buses and trams can be boarded:
Information on Manchester's transport system can be requested at the Transport for Greater Manchester "Travelshop", located next to the bus station and tram stop.[ citation needed ]
The square is surrounded by buildings that cover the ages of modern Manchester. From old Victorian warehouses and shops dating from the Industrial Revolution and Manchester's role as the cotton marketing capital to the new office block development which is part of the 21st century regeneration of the square. The building that visitors are likely to notice first is the huge complex of Piccadilly Plaza which stands over Piccadilly.
Piccadilly Plaza was originally built by Covell Matthews and Partners from 1959 to 1965 and has been recently re-modelled by Leslie Jones Architects in 2001 (this mainly involved replacing the old Chinese style-roofed towers of Bernard House).Piccadilly Plaza contains the renovated Mercure Hotel (formerly known as the Ramada Manchester Piccadilly and Jarvis Piccadilly Hotel); the refurbishment was completed in 2008. The huge tower block, originally known as Sunley Tower, was renamed City Tower. In 2005 the Plaza underwent large-scale remodelling with recladding of the tower and cleaning of concrete façades. The whole complex has benefited from increased investment from Bruntwood Ltd, which bought Piccadilly Plaza in 2004–05, and now several retail outlets on ground level, and large office space on the levels above (once the home of Piccadilly Radio) are available.
The Thistle Hotel stands on the south-eastern side of Piccadilly Gardens. The hotel was originally three cotton warehouses (with a fourth standing to the left) which made up the four warehouses designed by Edward Walters between 1851 and 1858. Also, there is the Grade II* listed Britannia Hotelon Portland Street which was formerly the largest of Manchester warehouses: Watts Warehouse (architects Travis & Mangnall).
From 2013 to 2015, the Wheel of Manchester was based in the square.
In addition to the many listed buildings that stand around Piccadilly Gardens there are also numerous statues:
These four stand on what was the esplanade of the infirmary and were erected at different times before the move to Oxford Road. The first was Peel's statue in 1853 and the last Queen Victoria's which came after her death.
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Manchester Piccadilly Gardens bus station, often abbreviated to Piccadilly Gardens is one of two main bus stations in Manchester city centre.
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The architecture of Manchester demonstrates a rich variety of architectural styles. The city is a product of the Industrial Revolution and is known as the first modern, industrial city. Manchester is noted for its warehouses, railway viaducts, cotton mills and canals - remnants of its past when the city produced and traded goods. Manchester has minimal Georgian or medieval architecture to speak of and consequently has a vast array of 19th and early 20th-century architecture styles; examples include Palazzo, Neo-Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Edwardian baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Neo-Classical.
Watts Warehouse is a large, ornate Victorian Grade II* listed building standing on Portland Street in the centre of Manchester, England. It opened in 1856 as a textile warehouse for the wholesale drapery business of S & J Watts, and was the largest single-occupancy textile warehouse in Manchester. Today the building is part of the Britannia Hotels chain.
Richard Lane was an English architect of the early and mid-19th century. Born in London and based in Manchester, he was known in great part for his restrained and austere Greek-inspired classicism. He also designed a few buildings – mainly churches – in the Gothic style. He was also known for masterplanning and designing many of the houses in the exclusive Victoria Park estate.
Mosley Street is a street in Manchester, England. It runs between its junction with Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street to St Peter's Square. Beyond St Peter's Square it becomes Lower Mosley Street. It is the location of several Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings.
Charles H. Heathcote (1850–1938) was a British architect who practised in Manchester. He was articled to the church architects Charles Hansom, of Clifton, Bristol. He was awarded the RI Medal of Merit in 1868, and started his own practice in 1872.
Manchester Cenotaph is a war memorial in St Peter's Square, Manchester, England. Manchester was late in commissioning a First World War memorial compared with most British towns and cities; the city council did not convene a war memorial committee until 1922. The committee quickly achieved its target of raising £10,000 but finding a suitable location for the monument proved controversial. The preferred site in Albert Square would have required the removal and relocation of other statues and monuments, and was opposed by the city's artistic bodies. The next choice was Piccadilly Gardens, an area already identified for a possible art gallery and library; but in the interests of speedier delivery, the memorial committee settled on St Peter's Square. The area within the square had been had been purchased by the City Council in 1906, having been the site of the former St Peter's Church; whose sealed burial crypts remained with burials untouched and marked above ground by a memorial stone cross. Negotiations to remove these stalled so the construction of the cenotaph proceeded with the cross and burials in situ.
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Portland Street is a street which runs from Piccadilly at its junction with Newton Street southwards to Oxford Street at its junction with Chepstow Street in Manchester, England. The major buildings of Portland Street include the largest former warehouse in the city centre, Watts Warehouse, the former Bank of England Building and other former warehouses on the corners of Princess Street.
107 Piccadilly is a Grade-II listed building on Lena Street in Manchester, England. Situated near Piccadilly Gardens, it was originally built as a packing warehouse and showroom with offices for cotton manufacturer Sparrow Hardwick & Company.
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