Description of the Project
Having completed a new build 100,000ft2 office building, the Morson Group plc recruited The Design Practice by UBER to design and construct an apartment for the Chairman within a small section of redundant attic space. This was to be like no other attic space.
As keen Manchester United FC sponsors and with Old Trafford ground within walking distance and Manchester City Centre only a stones throw away, there was a real requirement for the creation of an apartment that could act as the ultimate entertaining space for regular pre-match ‘get-togethers’ and the occasional stay over. Whilst space was highly limited the brief was to include a cinema, wine cabinets and humidor as well as an array of technology for presentations.
Period of Property
New build on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal
Structural difficulties to overcome?
Maximising the space was initially quite a challenge as the external structure was made up of sloping walls, which impacted on usable space. The area needed to be air conditioned, and the ceiling space finely detailed to accommodate this as well as the raised ceiling sections that we hand gilded and in which we housed a drop down cinema screen. Uber cleverly overcame fire regulations by creating a mirrored wall with very carefully considered cuts in the glass to conceal a secret door. This acted as an alternative means of escape in the event of a fire.
Favourite/ key aspect of the project?
The two wine cabinets flanking the humidor were just an incredible back drop to the dining table, and a key focal point when you enter the main space. Designed by Uber to present the bottles at 15 degrees with very little fixing element showing, mirror polished steel sides and a back lit onyx base, they gave the impression of an infinity of bottles and cigars. They were framed in large polished steel casings and complemented by floating button handles. The cabinetry which housed a multitude of functions was also particularly successful and included all the AV equipment, a cocktail bar and writing desk, all inset with leather and tinted mirrors and all recessed into the wall.
Why do you think the scheme works so well?
The quality of materials used from the silk carpets to the bespoke settee and bathroom sanitary ware made this a very special project, but it was the great space planning that really made it. Uber created a circular conclusion to a hall corridor with curved door and casing as well as platinum foil architraves, skirting boards and a complete wall of cut mirror which helped you arrive centrally in the space and was key to getting the kitchen where we needed it.
Often we are so fortunate to have the benefit of working with projects that afford us great space. With this the result had all the impact of a multi million pound project compacted into a small one bed apartment and it is both the challenge and the achievement that was so rewarding.