Lowry House, Bruntwood Works’ central Manchester workspace, is to become Bloc as work begins to revitalise the building into a productivity-boosting urban oasis as part of the work and leisure space provider’s £50m Pioneer transformation programme.
Located on Marble Street in the heart of the city centre, Bloc will launch with a renewed focus on the work environment to help boost productivity. Technology to monitor and optimise air quality, a state-of-the-art wellness suite – that will host yoga and fitness classes – and a cascading garden in the foyer, with living walls throughout, will all be introduced as Bruntwood Works aims to bring balance to business.
As part of Bloc’s effort to promote a work life balance, sleep pods will also be provided to help workers with vital rest and rejuvenation. Lack of sleep has been linked to poor performance and loss of productivity by Public Health England, with studies estimating an annual cost of £30bn to the UK due to lost sleep alone.
A local independent coffee shop will also make Bloc its home, while the refurbishment will bring a new cinema room, bespoke spaces for community pop-up events, and shared event and co-working spaces to help foster collaboration.
Renovation works are already underway to develop a ground floor annex that will include the addition of 180 new flexible desks, 12 new spaces in the coworking studio and 12 modern meeting rooms that have fully integrated hi-tech audio-visual equipment. This follows the refurbishment of the serviced suites on the upper floors, which have all been redesigned to mirror the building’s new concept.
Bloc is Bruntwood Works’ third Pioneer building – forward-thinking workspaces that offer innovative designs, individuality and flexibility – and its redevelopment follows the recent transformation of Blackfriars House and 111 Piccadilly in Manchester.
The Pioneer programme is creating a vibrant, community-focussed workplace centred on six key pillars: biophilia, art, sustainability, wellness, amenity and technology.
Ciara Keeling, CEO of Bruntwood Works, said: “Bloc will bring balance to business for our customers and community. But many businesses still face the challenge of creating the optimum work life balance. Flexible working has helped but it’s not a panacea, as lockdown has shown.
“The guiding thought behind Bloc is that we all work more productively when we’re in more natural and comfortable environments. But more than that, we’re happier too.
“Now more than ever, the flexibility of the space and level of service we provide is crucial in supporting our changed ways of working, particularly as our customers bring their teams back together and return to the office.
“Our Pioneer buildings are designed to be places that actively improve our wellbeing, and in turn, our work through greater and productivity, creativity and innovation. Bloc takes this and runs with it, and with its revolutionary biophilic revamp, it will be an urban oasis amidst an urban jungle.”
The name Bloc, defined as “a collection of people forming with a common interest or purpose”, marks the move to redefine the 16-storey building from a traditional office block to an environment that promotes balance and productivity, and one that places nature and its community of like-minded businesses at its heart.
Bloc will offer a range of workspace options that cater for businesses of all sizes, from coworking to serviced offices and traditional leased spaces to Made & Managed options which provide larger, private spaces that include rent, business rates and service charges. All workspace includes membership to the Collective, Bruntwood Work’s digital community platform and access to a broad range of amenities.
Completion is due Spring 2021.