Public art provides the focus of an innovative Loaf Agency placemaking campaign for Circle Square, the £750m Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group joint venture development on the landmark former BBC site in Oxford Road, Manchester.
Loaf commissioned five artists to produce new work for display on the 169ft site hoarding surrounding Circle Square, each emphasising a characteristic of the development within Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor Innovation District. Artwork will remain in place for at least a year.
Designed to increase awareness of the new neighbourhood during construction, Loaf devised the Extraordinary Taking Shape campaign theme to reflect the vision that Circle Square will be “a place to enable the extraordinary” when complete. Loaf has also created a range of campaign assets to launch Extraordinary Taking Shape on social media, including a short digital film introducing the artists’ work.
Target audiences for the public art display include potential occupants and the wider community.
Liz Bamber, Marketing Manager for Circle Square said: “We were keen to take a different approach with this campaign and not just use the hoarding to show CGI’s of the spaces that are being developed, but articulate in an interesting way what is being created as part of this extraordinary new neighbourhood.
“Loaf’s idea to work with the artists was a great way of achieving this. Taking this approach meant that we were giving others a platform to share their own interpretation of what’s to come and at the same time create a new piece of public art.”
Loaf selected artists on the basis of their connections to Manchester and to reflect an eclectic range of styles and approaches – from illustrators and visual artists to mural designers.
Josh Harrison’s artwork represents Student Spaces; Javier’s art represents the retail and leisure offering; Steven Waring’s art represents Green Space; Nomad Clan’s art represents Living Space; and Lei Mai’s art represents Workspaces.
Alan Houghton, Managing Director of Loaf Agency, based in Ancoats, Manchester, said: “What better way to bring that brand to life than through the work of a quintet of extraordinarily talented contemporary artists? Bringing brands to life through human experiences is where Loaf excels and we are excited to have played a part in helping to expose Circle Square’s place-making concept to the thousands of people who pass by every day.
“Building on the location’s history, Extraordinary Taking Shape emphasises that Circle Square is a new urban destination where extraordinary things will happen.”
Circle Square is an exciting new addition to the Oxford Road Corridor, an Innovation District renowned as the location of numerous Manchester firsts across the fields of science, politics, culture and art.
The development will comprise 1m sq ft of high-quality workspace, 1,700 new homes and over 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including shops, restaurants, bars and leisure space.