This year's event was an incredibly full on day including a walking tour to a few of our complete and in-progress projects around the city, drinks and a night of bowling at All Star Lanes. We started the day in our Manchester office with a picnic lunch, which was a great way to welcome the London team - many of whom I was meeting for the first time. We then made our way over to Deansgate Square, where we were lucky enough to take a tour of the West Tower penthouse. This was the perfect place to begin our architectural tour, as we enjoyed the amazing views of the Manchester landscape, and toasted to the company and its successes.
Splitting into smaller groups, we next walked to our Manchester New Square project on the corner of Princess Street with Associate Partner, Simon Critchley, as our guide. As well as seeing the construction site of these three residential buildings, we also visited the marketing suite, and got to see a mock-up of a one bedroom apartment. Simon then took some time to talk us through the project, describing some stylistic choices, as well as challenges the team had faced during its design.
For our final stop we walked to the recently completed Burlington House on Tariff Street, where James Hind gave us some insight into the 11-storey residential development situated along Rochdale Canal. It was especially interesting to hear about the historical facets of this project, with the building being situated near significant heritage sites, and other stylistic choices made to create the three distinct layers of the building.
Despite my role within the company not being architectural, I found the tours a great opportunity to learn about some of the projects the company is involved in, and really get a feel for the practice's part in the development of the city.
After this final stop we had some free time to further explore the city before ending the event together at All Star Lanes. Although some were sceptical at the choice of bowling, it proved to be a great way to get to know each other in a casual and relaxed setting - the open bar was also a big hit. The night was completed with some very memorable karaoke performances, that I don't think anyone will easily forget.
I found the event a great opportunity to bring the two offices together in a social and inclusive way, and for everyone, especially the London office, to see some of the Manchester projects in person. The event was a celebration of the company and its achievements, and it was incredibly rewarding to see what an impact we've had on the development of the city by working together as one practice.