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Manchester Studio Completes Iconic Office Refurbishment Projects

Manchester Studio Completes Iconic Office Refurbishment Projects
15 January 2021

Community, creativity and health are three key pillars of four iconic Manchester refurbishment projects, completed by Independent design practice, Sheila Bird Studio.

Manchester’s Hilton House (31,000 sq ft), Circle Square (400,000 sq ft) and 86 Princess Street (48,000 sq ft) are just some of the iconic buildings that Sheila Bird has helped to transform, whilst ensuring that the building’s character and history are retained.


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The team is renowned for its imaginative office design and rethinking of the office environment, focussing on the creative process to identify the future communities that will use their spaces and how those spaces reflect the changing world.

Every space Sheila Bird creates challenges the office norm, makes people think differently and creates spaces that provoke positive change for businesses


86 Princess Street

Picture: a photograph of the interior 86 Princess Street, showing a bar area with seating


Creating Places With a Pulse


Atul Bansal, Co-Founder of Sheila Bird Studio, described his vision of creating places with a “pulse.”

“People are realising buildings have to have ‘a pulse’, a purpose and shared values to attract the right occupiers. They need to stand for something and speak to you when you walk through the door. 

“As social and environmental responsibilities become critically important in the corporate world, meaningful investment is about more than bricks and mortar and short term thinking. 

“For us, it’s not just about just designing interiors anymore, it’s about supporting the creation of ecosystems.”


“Words that were considered soft and fuzzy like health, happiness and creativity are now being seen in customer briefs. Location and square footage are always going to be important, but organisations are questioning the values of a building, and whether it aligns with theirs as a business."

–Atul Bansal

Co-Founder, Sheila Bird Studio


The Values of a Building in Client Briefs


Bansal explained that when his team design buildings, they no longer talk about colours and textures, they talk about what values a building stands for:

“Words that were considered soft and fuzzy like health, happiness and creativity are now being seen in customer briefs. Location and square footage are always going to be important, but organisations are questioning the values of a building, and whether it aligns with theirs as a business.

“We are seeing big tech companies thinking about those sorts of things, because the younger workforce demand more transparency in this area.”


Hilton House


One such project is that of Hilton House in Manchester, a building which features contemporary office space with floor-to-ceiling windows and an art gallery:

“It was a love affair that started 20 years ago; this iconic piece of Manchester architecture was under refurbishment and we knew we needed to celebrate its soul and stay faithful to its history, whilst giving it a tenant base it deserves,” said Bansal.


Kiera, Atul and Amie

Picture: a photograph showing (from left to right): Keira Lawlor-Skillen from The Feel Good Club, Atul Bansal and Amy Lawlor-Skillen from The Feel Good Club,


“The building has such a special ‘vibe’ about it, which is brought alive by ground-floor tenants The Feel Good Club, a coffee shop and space focussed on holistic wellbeing.

Picture: a photograph showing a large digital screen at Circle Square

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 15 January 2021


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