Client: Hermes Real Estate, Manchester City Council and The Co-operative Group
Architect: Planit-IE, Altrincham
Contractor: Casey Group

Hardscape helps shape £800 million Manchester city centre redevelopment

Using modern contemporary materials but drawing on historic themes and design, Hardscape worked with Landscape Architects Planit-IE to help transform a space in the centre of Manchester. 

Sadler’s Yard and the surrounding public realm is part of the North West’s largest mixed-used regeneration scheme, set at the heart of the city’s NOMA redevelopment. The project is a joint venture by Hermes Real Estate, Manchester City Council and The Co-operative Group. 

Hardscape has been central to the creation of the scheme’s square – an outdoor space designed to serve as an inspirational setting for Manchester’s creative communities. It is intended to be used for events and will be a focal point for pedestrians and patrons frequenting the many shops, cafes and restaurants, some within newly exposed basements of the Co-operative’s listed buildings. 

Historical links

Linking the area’s history to its future, Hardscape worked with Planit-IE to select materials that echoed some elements of its financial district heritage. Complex diamond-pattern inlaid natural stone paving and Artscape motifs hark back to the marble floors that were a signature design feature found in the traditional banking halls. The use of warm and contrasting tones also echo this effect and key architectural motifs were picked out and creatively included throughout the scheme. 

We approached Hardscape because we know they can put together creative solutions, on brief and on time. They combine a dedication to craft with modern thinking that’s clear in every aspect of their delivery. We knew they were the right choice for this ambitious, creative project.

Principal Landscape Architect at Planit-IE, Kevin Redhead

Materials used 

The project included a mix granite paving, Burlington Westmorland Green natural stone and Raj Royal Grey paving. These materials, chosen for their longevity and natural beauty, sit alongside stone street furniture with multi Artscape features including Crystal Black granite benches and signage plinths. The signage graphics were produced by isGroup. 

To bring the vision to life and add a further dimension to the scheme, Planit-IE and Hardscape team also collaborated with specialist architectural and sculptural metalwork designers Chris Brammall Ltd. This included metal detailing for the street furniture and bollards as well as creating the cycle stands and handrails. 

The square was named after James Sadler, a balloonist, chemist and pastry chef who made the first manned balloon flight from Manchester in 1785, chosen following a social media campaign asking for suggestions from members of the public. The contractor works were undertaken by the Casey Group and funding came from the European Regional Development Fund.