Piccadilly Gardens Pavilion is finally set to get a bit of a facelift this summer, as plans are finally greenlit to give the area a whole new look. The approval comes as Piccadilly Gardens as a whole undergoes a major redesign, which could finally see the city centre park resemble more of a garden – something Mancs have long requested from the council.
Starting with the demolition of the hated ‘Berlin Wall’ back in 2020, the Pavilion is set to get a softer look – consisting of a metal, glass and LED art installation that will embellish the concrete walls facing the bus and tram station.
The current concrete pavilion was designed by respected Japanese architect Tadao Ando, however, planning statements reveal that it’s felt it does not “contribute positively to local townscape” and blocks “natural surveillance” – therefore contributing to crime in the area. The area has been a hotbed for anti-social behaviour over the years, with police hoping the demolition of the ‘Berlin Wall’ would help to combat the area’s issues.
The pavilion will be opened up by removing the connecting roof between the two buildings that make up the pavilion – one of which is home to a Caffe Nero – with the addition of extra lighting and the new neon art installation. Savills said in the planning documents that the “overall effect will be to create a more legible, safer and attractive route for pedestrians”.
Senior fund manager Rob Codling of Legan & General Investment Management said: “By reworking the pavilion at Piccadilly Gardens we will be able to make the site a more enjoyable experience for residents and visitors to the city.
“The pavilion’s prominent position makes it a gateway between the green public spaces and the city and we have a responsibility to make this a positive and welcoming space for everyone. We’re grateful to the council for their approval of the plans and support for the scheme.”
Designs for Piccadilly Gardens itself are still being considered by the council, with six chosen design teams set to reveal the shortlisted ideas sometime this Autumn.
Work will begin on the pavilion this summer, with plans currently scheduled to be completed this year.