The UK’s contested second city, and uncontested ‘Capital of the North’, Manchester is experiencing a period of roaring cultural growth. It’s little wonder therefore that the city with aspirations to become a truly global player is now home to Locke Hotels’ most ambitious project to date.
Set across three former export mills, Whitworth Locke features 160 studios and an assortment of capacious public areas that position the property as both aparthotel and community hub.
Matthew Grzywinski, of Grzywinski+Pons, led the overall design, which continues the group’s propensity for pastels and orderly, understated styling. In many ways Whitworth Locke is a story of colour and studios feature painted original brickwork in hues of salmon, with light wood floors and accents of green in neatly angular sofas.
The extensive co-working spaces on the ground floor, meanwhile, are more forceful in appearance, with walls of foliage and splashes of bright yellow – a nod to the worker bee, perhaps the most well-known symbol of the city.
One of the most defining elements is the grand glass atrium, which ensconces the lobby-cum-cocktail bar. Surprisingly, it’s an 80s addition to the building, but so convincingly Victorian that it survived the renovation and now affords the sullen Manchester sky a permanent presence.
Also at ground level is neighbourhood coffeehouse, Foundation. Designed by local studio NoChintz, it’s the second location of a popular brand founded in the city’s Northern Quarter and, beyond espressos, provides a cultural programme of yoga classes and film nights for locals and long-stays alike.