Wandering around Manchester can be a architecture fanatic’s dream with it’s iconic buildings such as Urbis, Manchester Town Hall, Beetham Tower, IWMN etc. etc. However what delights me most is coming across one of the more hidden gems.

So veer of the ‘tourist trail’ and take a look at my new favourite, the eye catching Building Design Partnership (BDP.) offices located at 11 Ducie Street, Piccadilly Basin, Manchester. BDP is the largest interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists in Europe – so I would like to think they know how to do things right and taking a look at this building it seems they have it bang on.

On one side the building ‘floats’ atop of the Ashton Canal – giving those passing in their barges something sexy to look at – with it’s swathes of glass and glorious reflections. The opposite side, with it’s metallic loveliness and wooden ‘cladding’ faces towards Ducie Street.

As well as looking beautiful though this building is a tree-hugging, environmentally friendly little chap. It is the first naturally ventilated office building in Manchester to achieve an Excellent BREEAM rating – for those not in the know this is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings.

Amongst its sustainable features are Manchester’s first living brown roof, designed to attract the ‘lesser spotted’ Black Redstart (perfect for any twitchers out there), a rain harvesting system to flush the loos and low-emission lighting.

Stephen Redfern, BDP Business Director, Manchester states on the BDP website (regarding the building) it is “A truly inspiring environment for meeting, thinking and creating.”

So need to be inspired? Take a walk down to the Ashton Canal, bring some sandwiches, feed the geese and get those creative Ducie’s flowing.

* Images to follow in future post *