The 114 beautifully designed apartments come in all shapes and sizes, embracing the quirks and history of the landmark building. Along with spectacular ceiling heights, the focal point is the striking staircase, surrounded by the original tiles, some of which were cracked and damaged by the 1996 bombing – these remain untouched to act as a reminder of the building’s heritage.
Along with introducing their first gym to the site, Roomzzz commissioned colourful, quirky illustrations from celebrated artist, Katie Edwards, to educate their guests on Manchester culture.
Almost impossible access conditions forced contractors, ISG to think outside the box on a complex refurbishment of a bomb-damaged listed building in Manchester. Their only access point was through a window that’s three storeys up, 1.2 m wide and barely 1.7 m high. All materials had to come in and out that way – plasterboard, beds, gym equipment, every piece of steel, every pipe and every door!
The project began with a drone survey of the roof before work got under way on site. That drone footage threw up a number of potential problems that had to be tackled early in the project – particularly because there was incredibly limited access to the roof, which includes a large glass dome.
The first Corn Exchange was built on the site in 1837, but was subsequently torn down and replaced by the current building, which was built in two sections between 1897 and 1903.
It suffered extensive damage in the IRA bombing of 1996, which destroyed a swathe of the city centre: the building, which is just a stone’s throw from the bomb site on Corporation Street, had all of its windows destroyed and suffered significant structural damage.
Since then, it has had a number of varying incarnations, ranging from a market to a shopping centre, before being refurbished again in 2015 to host a range of restaurants and bars.
However, the top floors remained largely unoccupied, giving Roomzzz the perfect opportunity to fit out a new aparthotel.