Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

 

Led by Matthew Grzywinski and Amador Pons, New York City-based practice Grzywinski+Pons has recently completed Whitworth Locke, a 160-room hotel with a bar, cafe, lounge and co-working space in Manchester, England.

This adaptive reuse project was an addition, complete gut renovation and comprehensive fit out of three linked heritage buildings on an island site in Central Manchester.

The hotel is comprised of three blocks, that were built in separate phases: Central House, Dominion House and Johnson House. “This commission had special resonance for us as the beautiful former textile warehouses and showroom were highly reminiscent of some of the earliest work we did designing interventions to 19th-century masonry buildings — functional and stylistic contemporaries to these Mancunian structures — in our native New York City,” explains the design team. “The proportions, materials, textures and quality of light we inherited felt a bit like home and demanded to be exalted.”

 

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

 

The renovation was driven by the intent to preserve and celebrate the richness of the historic 19th Century fabric while obliterating a poor alteration from the 1980s, all while creating a distinct new language commensurate to the new life and purpose the design team hoped to foster within. “We paid special attention to the thresholds into the building and the dialogue between our interventions and the beauty of the Victorian blocks.”

At the centre of the three blocks, previous alterations were removed while the glazed atrium was simplified to maximise transparency. The structure was finished in colour found to be tonally close to Manchester skies – regressive and deferential to the prominence of the historic facades and the new insertions. A contiguous floor of granite block pavers connects the inside with the outside, drawing in passers-by and guests alike by making conviviality clearly legible to the street.

 

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Whitworth Locke Hotel in Manchester by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

 

“Our aim in fostering tension between our new interiors and the solid bones of the Victorian fabric was for one to exalt the other,” explains the team. “We seized upon a palette and language inspired by research into vintage visual communications promoting commercial, industrial links that historically connected Manchester to far-flung (and often warmer and brighter) corners of the globe. We loved the link between Merseyside and the equatorial, and as we designed most of the furniture and all of the joinery in the project, we took this as inspiration for both material and formal choices.”

Grzywinski+Pons designed the lighting and crafted the palette of warm materials and tones that at once envelop occupants and maximise the impact of the texture both discovered and created throughout the property. “We like to think we were just deferential enough to the heritage and beauty of the existing buildings, but there is an unabashedly new and bold language to the project,” they said.

Ultimately, this striking evolution of three heritage buildings reflects the way Manchester continues to grow and change. “We hope our addition to this city can catalyse the dynamism we found up North that so inspired us,” conclude the designers.

 

See more projects by Grzywinski+Pons on Yellowtrace here.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Grzywinski+Pons. Photography by Nicholas Worley.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
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Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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