Bruntwood unveils proposals for transformation of The Alberton

The Alberton from Trinity Bridge

Manchester property giant, Bruntwood, has submitted its plans for The Alberton, in the city centre.

It envisages a revolutionary workspace and leisure destination, which would replace the existing Alberton House on St Mary’s Parsonage with a striking 18 storey office building, housing the UK’s highest workspace rooftop pool and capable of competing on the world stage.

Bruntwood Works, the workspace, retail and leisure arm of the Bruntwood Group, will develop and deliver the building, which will become the flagship in its £200m Pioneer programme.

The Alberton’s focal point is its rooftop holistic wellness centre and the key element in its ‘workplace revolutionised’ ethos, promoting the integration of physical and mental wellbeing into daily working lives.

As well as the performance lap pool, it will also boast a hydrotherapy vitality pool, hot and cold treatment rooms, fitness studio, yoga terrace, physio room, and changing and shower facilities.

On the 17th floor, plans reveal a landscaped panoramic roof terrace with commanding views across the city, a gym and an additional food and beverage outlet serving nutritious options.

Designed by EPR Architects and occupying the site of the first Manchester Gas Works, The Alberton is a modern reimagining of Manchester’s Victorian cotton mills with nods to the city’s industrial heritage throughout its architecture.

The Alberton is set to complete in early 2025, with works on site due to begin later this year.

The development sits within Manchester City Council’s St Mary’s Parsonage Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF), which includes the redevelopment of the Grade-II listed Kendal Milne building, and is already home to Bruntwood’s Blackfriars House and King’s House, which are currently undergoing redevelopment.

Following extensive research into how best to achieve ambitious sustainability goals, plans propose the demolition of the existing Alberton House.

An energy-inefficient 1960s office building, it was identified in the SRF as one which would benefit from regeneration to improve the area’s connection to the River Irwell.

The Alberton’s publicly accessible ground floor will create an open, welcoming connection between the Trinity Bridge walkway and Motor Square, featuring a hospitality offering across the entire floor, including a full service restaurant, bar and coffee shop, with seating spilling out onto a landscaped and extended public realm.

Plans for The Alberton include event spaces such as an intimate screening and cinema room in the basement, a large, flexible event space on the ground floor mezzanine, plus the 17th floor roof terrace, all helping to foster a sense of collaboration and inclusivity.

The ground floor mezzanine will also feature an extensive coworking lounge and a range of meeting rooms, with the full range of product offering available throughout the building. This includes Pay As You Go coworking day passes, through to Made and Managed bespoke offices, to support businesses of all sizes, from freelancers to large corporates.

Meanwhile, on the lower ground floor, customers will be able to benefit from a cycle hub complete with showers, changing and vanity areas, lockers and cycle storage, including Brompton bike lockers, promoting active commuting.

The Alberton Pool

Following other leading workspaces transformed as part of the Pioneer programme, including Bloc in Manchester, The Plaza in Liverpool and the upcoming West Village in Leeds, The Alberton represents an evolution of the firm’s Pioneer proposition, offering a level of wellbeing and amenity currently unrivalled in the UK workspace market.

Bruntwood became the first property company in the UK to sign up to the World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment back in 2018.

Ciara Keeling, CEO of Bruntwood Works, said: “The Alberton is going to revolutionise workspace, not just in Manchester but across the UK. It is a development that supports integrating wellbeing into customers’ daily lives to encourage a positive work/life balance.

“This is evident in our plans to create a holistic wellbeing centre that will act as the focal point of the entire development, including a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city.

“Our Pioneer programme has always recognised the need to incorporate best-in-class wellness and amenity credentials within the workspace, and The Alberton will offer the pinnacle of this.”

Alongside Bruntwood Works as the developer, The Alberton project team comprises EPR as architect and interior designer, Planit IE as the landscape designer, Curtains as structural and civil engineer, Hilson Moran providing a range of MEP and sustainability design services, RLB as cost consultants and employers agent, Stephen Levrant as heritage consultant, and Deloitte LLP as planning consultants.