When it comes to finding the right location for their offices both in the UK and abroad, Huckletree take their time to scout and secure the right buildings, locations and spaces across all their hubs.
The workspace and growth accelerator doesn’t just go in for filling floors of vacant office space. They look for buildings with unique histories that are known for bringing people together.
So when they decided to open their first northern workspace in Manchester, they chose the magnificent Grade II listed Express Building on Great Ancoats Street.
Huckletree founder and CEO Gabriela Hersham says it’s a dream come true to be based in the building.
“It was considered ’space-age’ when it was first built back in the 1930s, and it still retains so much of that character today,” says Gabriela. “We love that it’s part of the history of the city and in one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods on the edge of the Northern Quarter.”
Having undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, it’s not just stunning on the outside. It’s stunning on the inside too.
The refurbishment of the building, which was carried out by award-winning Manchester based designers OBI, features lots of references to its origins as the home of the Daily Express.
OBI believed it was important to work with many of the original features of the space and emulate the industrial design of the building, with the exposed metal pillars for example.
Huckletree Ancoats has taken a lot of inspiration from the art deco design of the building and from Memphis, the avant garde art movement that was active at the time the building was constructed.
The Memphis movement was all about design that would evoke a response.
It was a protest against neutral pared back modernism and combined simple geometric shapes; flat colours combined in bold, contrasting palettes; stylised graphic patterns defined by black-and-white stripes; and abstract squiggles.
They’ve channelled that bold mentality, but with a more elevated palette featuring pastel pinks, yolk yellow and soft mint shades, plus signature graduating stripes.
“The colour and patterns of the early pop art and subsequent Memphis art movements are sympathetic with the Huckletree identity and has led our interior design to create a striking and innovative environment which will help all of the Huckletree members feel that they are part of something special,” said a spokesperson for OBI.
It’s all very instagrammable. But, says Gabriela, there’s more to Huckletree’s first northern workspace than instagrammable interiors and wall art.
“We want this to be a place for businesses to sustainably grow, internationalise and reach productive outcomes,” she says.
“You’ll find a lot of productivity, meetings and mentoring in our spaces mixed with energy, positivity and curiosity – and, of course, bright colours.”
The spaces at Huckletree Ancoats include a Live Lounge, where the local community can come together, a meditation and wellness space, and a purpose-built podcast studio.
“The entire space is a vibe and there’s a place for every mood,” says Huckletree Ancoats general manager Imani Chimo.
“Every detail has been thought out, to help us all on our journeys; whether you’re a team member, founder or part of an awesome company who has found home in Huckletree Ancoats, the space will surely provide you with the freedom to be the best version of you.”
“Dylan [one of the meeting rooms] when I want to remain focused, Carlton [another meeting room] when I’m feeling laid back, the Imaginarium for when I need that inner zen and the Live Lounge for communication and inspiration. Our entire space ticks that favourite spot!
“We offer a free flowing spacious environment that ignites creativity and imagination. Every detail has been thought out to help us all on our journeys whether you’re a team member, founder or part of an awesome company who calls Huckletree Ancoats home.”
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