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High-Rise Hotel in Manchester

The Beetham Tower, situated on Deansgate, one of the main thoroughfares of Manchester, is a new emblem of the structural changes taking place in this formerly industrial city. Completed in October 2006, the 169-metre-high building is not only the tallest in Manchester; it is one of the highest housing and hotel towers in Europe. Its 48 storeys are clearly divided. The floors up to level 24 are occupied by the Hilton Hotel with 279 rooms. In the upper half of the tower are 219 privately owned flats.

The slender structure rises next to a broad rectangular building three storeys high which contains public areas such as a restaurant, conference centre and assembly hall. The two sections are linked by a glazed atrium that forms a common entrance zone opening on to the lobby, restaurant and cafe. From here, spiral stairs lead to the conference centre. The fitness and spa areas are directly linked with the hotel in the two-storey plinth structure. Since this is broader than the tower itself, it was possible to daylight the pool via an elongated glass roof. The guest rooms have a restrained coloration, so that the main attraction is the spectacular view through the room-height glazed facade.

Situated on the 23rd and 24th floors, the Sky Bar extends over the entire storey area and forms a visible break between the hotel and housing functions. The bar and all floors above project out on the north side by four metres. The south face of the flats is constructed with a double-skin facade, which forms a naturally ventilated buffer zone. Balconies in the 1.70-metre-deep intermediate space provide sunshading for the dwellings beneath. Designed to serve many different needs, the external skin nevertheless has a homogeneous overall appearance. The verticality of the structure is accentuated not only by the narrow sunshading louvres that extend over all floors and by fritting over part of the facade, but by the slender glass fin at the top of the tower. Reaching up into the sky as a continuation of the south face, this element seem to blur the line between the building and the clouds.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 3/2007

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