Team appointed to bring iconic Northern Quarter building back to life

Interior design innovator, Sheila Bird Group, has been appointed to refurbish of the iconic 1960s office scheme, Hilton House. The team will now work alongside Buttress to collectively rejuvenate the building and bring it back to life.

Recently launched to market by developer and investor CERT Property, the historic 35,000 sq ft building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is a staple in the community. As a supporter of the arts and local businesses, Hilton House on Hilton Street is recognised (amongst other things) for featuring a series of specially commissioned photographs of ballet dancers in the windows of the building, by local photographer, Drew Forsythe.

Sheila Bird Group and Buttress’s campaign behind Hilton House is all about the local culture and its people. The “Real People” campaign has a strong emphasis on bringing people together in a creative environment. There will be a real focus on the arts, with a gallery on the outdoor ramp lower ground floor of the building to celebrate the local artists and their work, and another exciting arts project that’s in the pipeline but we can’t say any more about that at the moment apart from it’s on the roof!!

Sheila Bird is working with a big team on the project, including Buttress, LSH and Armitage Construction, and there are already several businesses ready to set up shop in the building, more on this soon.

Atul Bansal, co-owner of Sheila Bird Group, said: “Hilton House is a building that I’ve always admired. It’s a beautiful space with lots of potential, so we were determined to get the opportunity to work with CERT on the project. The regeneration of the Northern Quarter is so important to the community, it’s unique character and history is something truly special, so it has to be considerate – it’s something we have to get absolutely right.

“We will be maintaining the building’s unique feel and character, by keeping many of its features such as the stunning spiral staircase, whilst adding in some new things too. The windows are currently being dropped to create floor to ceiling glazing, which will mean it will have fantastic views of the Northern Quarter.

Gavin Sorby, Managing Director at Buttress, said: “Despite being a significant building at the heart of one of the city’s most dynamic neighbourhoods, Hilton House has been unloved and overlooked for far too long. Now that work is progressing on the redevelopment, a real buzz and excitement is building for what’s in store.

“Atul and his team are well known for creating extraordinary and engaging spaces, and we look forward to combining his ingenuity and interiors expertise with our architectural vision to deliver a transformation that celebrates, captures and adds to the Northern Quarter’s unique character.”

Hilton House was designed by Martin Seifert and built in the heart of the Northern Quarter in 1961, after which it was purchased by a local family who owned it for over 30 years. With very little refurbishment over the years, the building fell behind the times in the hip and up and coming Quarter.

Howard Lord, founder of CERT Property, said: “I kept an eye on this building for many years as I remember it from my childhood, as my father used to do a lot of business in the area. More recently walking past it every day on my way to the office, I kept saying to myself that this building could be something special and that obviously we were the people to make it happen.

“We wanted to move away from the concept of the building renovation itself; the aim was to make Hilton House much more than just a refurbishment project. We wanted to embrace its heritage but also make sure it fitted into what the Northern Quarter is today, which we believe we have done with our campaign focusing on the amazing local people and businesses that have made the Northern Quarter what it is.”

At the end of summer 2019, the building will become a new home to local, independent businesses and will play an integral part of the professional side of the Northern Quarter.