Bruntwood Works reveals revolutionary tech behind city’s smartest new workspace

Inside the Gem at 111 Piccadilly

A 200ft innovative lighting installation powered by advanced photovoltaics will be the centrepiece of what is set to become Manchester’s smartest new workspace.

It is part of a major refurbishment project starting next month at Bruntwood Works’ 111 Piccadilly building.

Illuminating three sides of the iconic building it will be visible from across the city centre, while a striking new ‘gem’ structure will also be added to transform the shape of the entrance.

The ground-breaking lighting concept will incorporate LEDs throughout and will be powered by sustainable energy via photovoltaics.

The photovoltaics will also support the power generation for the ground floor of the building.

It is just one of the smart features planned for 111 Piccadilly. Advanced technology also includes sensors monitoring air quality, space utilisation and energy usage.

Customer health and wellbeing will be improved via a new cutting-edge circadian lighting system, which is designed to create a natural environment regulating a 24-hour cycle of sleep, wake, hunger, alertness, hormone release, and body temperature.

A multi-functional kiosk with display screen enabling live updates on wayfinding in the building, Transport For Greater Manchester timetable information and air quality standards is also being introduced.

Expected to complete in March 2020, 111 Piccadilly is set to become the first co-working space in the UK and one of the first in Europe to achieve Platinum standard WELL certification.

Ciara Keeling, chief executive for Bruntwood Works, said: “We’re extremely excited to progress our plans for 111 Piccadilly.

“Located in the heart of Manchester, we believe it will create an incredible gateway into the city centre. From amazing cutting-edge technology to sustainable features and a new stunning illuminated exterior, it is set to make a major impact on Manchester.

“All of the new features from the 200ft interactive lighting scheme to the impressive community space in the Gem are designed to innovate and improve our customers’ experience.

“The health, wellness and community aspects of a building are vital and this is just the first of many of our properties to receive such a revolutionary makeover.”

A key element to the building’s transformation, which is part of Bruntwood Works’ £50m Pioneer refurbishment project, is a new sculptured feature, the ‘Gem’, which will provide a stunning art exhibition and seating space for people to gather and socialise.

Built from glass and copper panels assembled at angles to create a ‘gem’ effect, the space will create a captivating entrance area designed to attract attention from passing commuters.

A new independent café and lounge open to the public will also be introduced on the ground floor to create a welcoming arrival experience, as well as a vibrant coworking area, meeting and event space.

The community spaces will host a regular programme of inspiring events bringing together businesses from across the city to network and collaborate.

Biophilic design will be incorporated to create a healthy, productive workplace. Internal planting and greenery will be displayed throughout, as well as enhanced natural lighting and extensive use of natural materials.