Piccadilly Plaza / Piccadilly Exchange - Manchester, UK

Covell Mathews and Partners
Date Built
Piccadilly Gardens
This complex of building, beside Parker Street across from Piccadilly Gardens, was designed by Covell Mathews and Partners and built between 1959 and 1965. It was comprised three elements Piccadilly Hotel, Sunley House, and Bernard House.  All three rose above a podium that extended for the full length of Parker Street.

The site was redeveloped in 2000. In the process, Bernard House was demolished and the complex rebranded as the Piccadilly Exchange.  At the time the developers described their plan as follows:

"In Autumn 2006, Bruntwood’s vision for City Tower will be realised. Externally City Tower will reclaim its title as a Manchester icon and internally it will offer 225,000sq.ft. of the city’s finest office accommodation." .... "Refurbishment of Sunley Tower will have a major impact on the City's skyline. It is to be totally reclad in green tinted solar reflective glass and floodlighting will turn the tower into an important and attractive night time landmark."

"A new two-tier shopping arcade linking York Street and Parker Street will be perhaps the most significant addition to the Piccadilly Exchange. ... Greatly improved pedestrian access between the Gardens and China Town was a key element of the City Council's design brief for Piccadilly, opening up surrounding areas and increasing the number of pedestrians."

"When completed, Piccadilly Exchange will comprise over 31,000sq.m. of office space, 17,000sq.m. of retailing and a 19,000sq.m. hotel. It is estimated that it will employ 1,797 people and is expected to be completed before the 2002 Commonwealth Games."

The images above and below show the site in 2011.

Below are images taken during the original construction phase

photographer Arthur True - generously donated by his daughter Sheila Roy

The image above is shown here with the permission of Dr. Neil Clifton


More images of the complex.