Mix Blank Canvas Results – N0.8 First Street

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Over the summer, we were delighted to collaborate with PATRIZIA UK, Greater Manchester Pension Fund and Ask Real Estate to launch our newest feature – Mix Blank Canvas. The competition offered A&D the opportunity to get their creative juices flowing and design a unique space within NO.8 First Street, Manchester’s distinctive Grade A, BREEAM rated ‘Excellent’ workplace development, delivering the latest phase of the First Street neighbourhood.

This ground-breaking building incorporates six glazed, double-height ‘winter gardens’, which provide up to 1,685 sq ft of private amenity space for occupiers.

Entrants were asked to consider how a business from two different sectors of their choosing might use the space. These could include call centres, professional services companies or creative agencies.

On one A1 mood board, we asked for details of the suggested materials, finishes and fit-out, and to communicate visually how these complement both the office environment and the vibe of the wider estate.

Consideration needed to be given to the visual impact of the internal space when viewed externally, both during the day and at night time. 

Entrants were also asked to consider the likely benefits of how their design will impact on the recruitment and retention of staff across their chosen sectors. The amazing ideas and designs were judged by Jamie Hills, Senior Development Executive of Ask Real Estate, Ann Marie Duffy, Marketing Executive of Ask Real Estate, and Dan Williams, Head of Real Estate Development UK and Ireland at PATRIZIA UK, together with Chris Cheap, Regional Senior Director at GVA Manchester and James Evans, Director at Savills Manchester, who are acting as retained agents for NO.8 First Street.

We received some truly creative and innovative solutions from firms across the UK. Here are the results and a summary of six of the best…

74 architects- elevation.RGB_color

74 – Winner
The judges felt this design was visually beautiful and impactful. It offered a vibrant yet peaceful space, which truly provides a contrasting extension to the workspace.

The double-height space is accentuated with vertical drops of foliage and lighting, creating drama from both inside and outside.

The design is complemented with nature inspired furniture, surfaces and lighting

This biophilic, human-centric space is designed to flex around individuals’ needs and can be utilised 24/7.

2017-07-10 GasometerBDP – Highly Commended
The judges were impressed with how BDP had researched the industrial heritage of the Gas Works, which was originally located on First Street, and used this to influence their design.

An innovative breakout space – the ‘Circular Drum’, which echoes the iconic gasometers that once existed, were particularly striking. This flexible space with floor heating also ensures temperatures can be controlled in this room all year round.

BroomeJenkins- MIX 7 SHADOW

BroomeJenkins – Highly Commended
The judges felt this winter garden exemplified how to create a shared amenity that can support work activity whilst creating a connection with nature.

The movable cloud screens in the windows are a clever solution not only for visual impact, from both outside and inside the building, but also an innovative way to adjust how light enters and to create shading when required.

Claremont- First Street-Media Centre-View 2_FINALClaremont
The judges agreed this project was ambitious, aspirational and visually stunning, incorporating clever influences from Manchester’s rivers and cotton heritage. The use of dramatic water columns not only provided visual impact but also the source of recyclable water to maintain the planting.


Space Zero
The judges liked the clever use of colour and lighting on this design, which they felt would create a striking impact from the outside looking in. The design provided a flexible solution that offered areas for quiet, recuperation time as well as social gatherings.

Grimshaw- 17153_Mix_Interiors CG1 One

The judges felt this was an extremely playful, fun design in keeping with the ‘tech rebels at work’ the design was targeting. They felt aspects such as the climbing wall/secret room would appeal to younger more creative businesses and assist with recruitment and staff retention.