The Co-Operative Group seems to have ridden the recession without falls, last year it successfully acquired Somerfield and has now published and successfully received planning permission for a new head office in the heart of Manchester, right in the shadows of the prominent CIS Tower.
Co-Operative Group started in Manchester 150 years ago, and now stand as a leading company in the UK the design’s purpose is to house the additional administrative side acquired from the Somerfield deal, however 3DReid’s unusual form conveys a more subtle motive. The unusual plan shape, the inefficient curved edges, the vast loss of office space in return for a huge atrium. They are all there to promote the CO-Operative Groups ethos, so has the architectural equation changed in a modern environment, is it now function follows form follows advertisement, perhaps that is all we get from a capitalist society.
However 3DReid has created a somewhat refreshing office block that diverts from the typical glass cladded box. It looks at sustainability on a larger level and worker friendly environments, parking is limited as the local transport services are the advised use of travel, a vast atrium inside creates an open environment for it’s workers and leads the path for a new style of offices that are less enclosed, and more open.
As planning permission has been awarded, construction is due to take place at the start of 2010, with completion and opening set for sometime in 2012.
Images and video property of 3DReid