Chancery Place, Manchester
An object building in a historic setting

Chancery Place Developments Limited

Location: Manchester
Value: £20 million
Size: 150,000 sqft
Completion: 2008
Service: Architecture

2009 North West Property, Finalist

Simon Buckley

An iconic “flat iron” building that captured the unique geometry of the existing site and its key location in the heart of the traditional city core – that was the simple concept we set for Chancery Place.

An object building in a historic setting. It’s fully glazed single form is uninterrupted save for its top and bottom. The bottom celebrates and looks after the street whilst the top celebrates the city – a double storey array of glass fins intended to provide both shelter to the roof top terrace but also to act as a modern re-interpretation of the stone cornices found on the existing historic buildings.

Set back half a metre from the front of pavement the external profile creates a modern flat iron building. Clad in steel and glass to maximise the view out and daylight in, the building has a distinct top, middle and bottom.

The bottom creates the office and retail address and provides access off the secondary streets to a technically challenging and spiralling two and half level basement, housing 26 car parking spaces, plant rooms, cycle storage and staff shower areas. The middle twelve floors are an extrusion of the site interrupted only by the lift core where, with its super-sized Portland stone mix, GRC cladding panels create a nod to the historic buildings on King Street.


The top two floors are a modern twist on the traditional Victorian frieze. Set at 1.5 metre centres, a series of 6 metre high, angled, structural glass blades satisfy the technical requirements of solar shading and shelter to the executive roof garden and also provide a fitting finale to this new premier office address.

The building completed in October 2008 – only 2 years from inception. It set a new benchmark in office rents for the city and in doing so created a new landmark development for a great modern city.