Sunlight House

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Sunlight House
Sunlight House with London Scottish House in foreground.jpg
Sunlight House with London Scottish House in the foreground
General information
StatusGrade II
Architectural style Art deco
AddressQuay Street,
OwnerWarner Estates
Height135 feet (41 m)
Technical details
Floor count14
Design and construction
Architect Joseph Sunlight

Sunlight House is a Grade II listed building in the art deco style on Quay Street in Manchester, England. [2] . Completed in 1932 for Joseph Sunlight, at 14 storeys it was the tallest building in Manchester, and the top floors of turrets and multiple dormer windows and mansard roofs create a distinctive skyline.

Listed building Collection of protected architectural creations in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Quay Street

Quay Street is a street in the city centre of Manchester, England. The street, designated the A34, continues Peter Street westwards towards the River Irwell and Salford. It is the northern boundary of Spinningfields, the city's business district and Castlefield, the historical area of the city lies to the south. Quay Street was created in the 18th century for access to a quay on the river and is lined by several listed buildings.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's third-most populous metropolitan 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.



Sunlight House is a 14 storey steel and concrete structure, clad in Portland stone. The building is almost square in plan, with three street frontages, and a large central light-well. There is a basement swimming pool below a leadlight domed skylight at first floor in the centre of the lightwell. [3] Each of the three street facades are seven bays, with the two street corners expressed as three sided towers, which each rise to a four level octagonal turret, topped by a domed lantern and finial. [2] Behind and between the turrets, the top four floors are expressed as a mansard roof with multiple setback square dormer windows, which together with the turrets create a distinctive skyline and a major feature in the city.

Steel alloy made by combining iron and other elements

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, and sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, machines, appliances, and weapons.

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently a lime-based cement binder, such as Portland cement, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

Portland stone Limestone quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England

Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries consist of beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major public buildings in London such as St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. Portland stone is also exported to many countries—being used for example in the United Nations headquarters building in New York City.

South facade in 2002. Sunlight House facade.jpg
South facade in 2002.


Sunlight House was completed in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, and was built by architect and developer Joseph Sunlight as the headquarters of his property business, with offices and shops to let. It was originally intended to be 40 storeys high, but this plan was scaled down due to opposition by the city council. On completion, at 14 storeys and 135 feet (41 m), it was the city's tallest building until the 1960s (excluding towers and turrets of other buildings). [3] , and claimed to be Northern England's first skyscraper. A 40 storey extension proposed in 1948 was never built. [4]

Joseph Sunlight British politician

Joseph Sunlight, was a Belarusian/ English architect whose energy amassed him a great fortune in Manchester and left at least one fine building in Sunlight House.

Northern England Place in England

Northern England, also known as the North of England or simply the North, is the northern part of England, considered as a single cultural area. It extends from the Scottish border in the north to near the River Trent in the south, although precise definitions of its southern extent vary. Northern England approximately comprises three statistical regions: the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. These have a combined population of around 14.9 million as of the 2011 Census and an area of 37,331 km2. Northern England contains much of England's national parkland but also has large areas of urbanisation, including the conurbations of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Teesside, Tyneside, Wearside, and South and West Yorkshire.

Skyscraper tall building

A skyscraper is a continuously habitable high-rise building that has over 40 floors and is taller than approximately 150 m (492 ft). Historically, the term first referred to buildings with 10 to 20 floors in the 1880s. The definition shifted with advancing construction technology during the 20th century. Skyscrapers may host commercial offices or residential space, or both. For buildings above a height of 300 m (984 ft), the term "supertall" can be used, while skyscrapers reaching beyond 600 m (1,969 ft) are classified as "megatall".

The building was renovated in 1997 when it was found that bolts holding the cladding had rusted through. [5] It now houses offices, shops and a health club. The health club uses the original basement swimming pool. [3]

Office room where people perform their duties or a position within an organization

An office is generally a room or other area where an organization's employees perform administrative work in order to support and realize objects and goals of the organization. The word "office" may also denote a position within an organization with specific duties attached to it ; the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one's duty. When used as an adjective, the term "office" may refer to business-related tasks. In law, a company or organization has offices in any place where it has an official presence, even if that presence consists of a storage silo rather than an establishment with desk-and-chair. An office is also an architectural and design phenomenon: ranging from a small office such as a bench in the corner of a small business of extremely small size, through entire floors of buildings, up to and including massive buildings dedicated entirely to one company. In modern terms an office is usually the location where white-collar workers carry out their functions. As per James Stephenson, "Office is that part of business enterprise which is devoted to the direction and co-ordination of its various activities."

Swimming pool Artificial container filled with water intended for swimming

A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or paddling pool is a structure designed to hold water to enable swimming or other leisure activities. Pools can be built into the ground or built above ground, and are also a common feature aboard ocean-liners and cruise ships. In-ground pools are most commonly constructed from materials such as concrete, natural stone, metal, plastic or fiberglass, and can be of a custom size and shape or built to a standardized size, the largest of which is the Olympic-size swimming pool.

In the early 21st century, the building has changed hands many times. CIS bought Sunlight House from Gadaricus in 2002 for £27.5million and sold it in 2005 to Warner Estate Holdings for £40m. [6] In 2014, it was bought by Scottish Widows Investment Partners’ Property Trust for £34.5 million. [7] In 2018, Aberdeen Standard Investments commissioned a £4 million refurbishment of Sunlight House. [8]

Scottish Widows is a life insurance and pensions company located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group. Its product range includes life assurance and pensions.The company has been providing financial services to the UK market since 1815 and is the most trusted life, pensions and investment provider in the UK according to a 2010 Ipsos study. The company sells products through independent financial advisers, direct to customers and through Lloyds Banking Group bank branches. The well-known investment and asset management arm was sold in 2013 to Aberdeen Asset Management.

See also

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  1. "Sunlight House". Retrieved 2012-10-28.
  2. 1 2 Historic England. "Sunlight House, Quay Street (1270915)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 Hartwell, Clare (2001), Manchester, Pevsner Architectural Guides, Penguin Books, p. 252, ISBN   978-0-14-071131-8
  4. Kadish, Sharman (2004), "Sunlight, Joseph (1889–1978)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , Oxford University Press , retrieved 26 December 2009
  5. Parkinson-Bailey, John (2000), Manchester: an architectural history, Manchester University Press, p. 144, ISBN   978-0-7190-5606-2
  6. Thame, David (6 December 2005), New era for Sunlight after £159m deal, Manchester Evening News
  7. "Sunlight House sold for £34.5m". Business Sale Report. Business Data International Ltd. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  8. "First phase of £4m Sunlight House refurb completes". Place North West.

Coordinates: 53°28′43″N2°15′02″W / 53.47861°N 2.25056°W / 53.47861; -2.25056

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.