A former goods warehouse overlooking Piccadilly Basin is set to become a social and cultural destination, featuring an apart-hotel, restaurant, working and events spaces with outdoor terraces, a modern gym and boutique cinema.
Ducie Street Warehouse will be unlike traditional hotel developments as it will be run by three separate specialists, independently of each other, all concentrating on what they do best.
The new venture will consist of an apartment-hotel from Native, a Blok gym, and a new restaurant from Pablo Flack and David Waddington, the partnership behind east London’s Bistrotheque restaurant.
Native will breathe new life into the historic Manchester warehouse by creating 166 high quality suites. Bistrotheque will operate the ground floor, turning their Cultureplex space into an all-day hangout. And award-winning Blok will fuse art, design and fashion with their first gym space outside of London.
For Bistrotheque’s Pablo Flack, opening a space in Manchester feels like coming home to a city he has spent his formative years in – and one that is constantly evolving.
“Having grown up in Huddersfield, Manchester exerted a very strong pull on me in my formative years,” he says.
“It’s a city with a keen sense of self and strong cultural foundations. It’s also an exciting city to be in right now and we hope that we can become just one small piece in what is a highly dynamic jigsaw.
“The idea of a Cultureplex had been kicking around in my mind for a little while and on seeing the space for the first time, I immediately thought, ‘and this is it’. But the space is just the starting point. What it becomes will be determined by the people that now interact with it.
“Our job is not to tell Manchester what’s interesting. It’s to create a space for the people of the city to tell us.”
Pablo’s partner David Waddington is also looking forward to returning to Manchester.
“I grew up in a very rural part of the north west, and at that time Manchester was a strong influence,” he says.
“I’d make pilgrimages to institutions like Cornerhouse and shops like Creme. Returning to the city now, the culture, style and enthusiasm is ever present, and I’m looking forward to Cultureplex being a part of that.”
The ground floor space will house a coffee counter, Klatch, serving fresh food and juices by day, and natural wines and craft beer by night. There will be a central all-day space to work, lounge and dine, plus 80-seater restaurant Bistrotheque with an expansive open kitchen.
Bistrotheque will be open for dinner seven days a week and a brunch offering at weekends.
The menu looks similar to the London restaurant, with dishes such as signature fish and chips, steak tartare, and a rich Camembert pie with truffle.
The Cultureplex interiors are designed by Loren Day from New York based studio, LoveIsEnough. Housed in an old goods warehouse, the interior design sets out to celebrate the industrial heritage of the building leaving original structural features intact.
The gym looks to be a strikingly designed space, too.
“Manchester was a natural choice for the third Blok as it is such a key location for art, design, fashion and technology,” says Reema Stanbury who, together with founding partners Ed Stanbury and Max Oppenheim, continues to lead the way in the luxury gym sector with Blok studios in Shoreditch and Clapham.
“We are drawn to creative hubs and Manchester, especially the Northern Quarter, has a thriving and growing creative community.”
“Design and cultural collaboration are at the heart of Native’s approach to creating unique experiences for our guests,” says CEO Guy Nixon.
“The purchase of the former Place Aparthotel has been a sector defining opportunity for us to work with the industry’s best creatives, architects and designers. With over 100,000 square feet of space, this has been an extraordinary opportunity to take one of the great icons of Manchester’s industrial past and turn it into a major destination for the city.”
Ducie Street Warehouse is expected to open in May 2019.