It's no secret that we go gaga for barren spaces reborn as flourishing green oases, so we were delighted to see this former industrial site at Salford Quay in Manchester, UK rejuvenated into a picturesque new media park. Commissioned by the Peel Group and designed by Gillepsies, the dock was revamped with 200 acres of greenery, performance spaces and gathering areas, making it the perfect place for employees at the neighboring media companies to take lunch. Called MediaCityUK, the project also incorporates several impressive sustainable features and is the first project in the world to become a BREEAM accredited Sustainable Community.
The tree-filled, waterside plaza is composed of three distinct areas. The media square (which is framed by the largest studio in Europe, the BBC’s new northern headquarters) is MediaCityUK’s main perfomance space with 382 in-ground LED lights and room for 5000 spectators. The media park is a restful spot which boasts 86 new trees as well as stone benches for workers in the area to take a break on. Last but not least, the dock terrace is a south-facing stepped surface with astonishing views.
MediaCityUK pays homage to the history of the original site with construction materials that reflect the aesthetic of the former dock like steel, natural stone, cement and wood. To support local biodiversity, approximately 210 new trees were planted, and at night, the whole area is illuminated by over 350 computer controlled LED up-lighters and 20m high sculptural lighting masts, lending a dramatic flair to evening performances.