Video interview with Ian Simpson about the Hilton Tower

Video Transcript

Ian Simpson Architects and the Beetham Organisation

My name is Ian Simpson and I’m a partner in Ian Simpson architects. We’re responsible for the design and creation of the Beetham Hilton Tower (that we are in now at this moment). We’ve worked with the Beethams over the last 8 or 9 years. We’ve just completed a large scheme in Birmingham, a hotel and residential tower, (not as tall as the Hilton tower), but we’re also working with them in London on number 1 Blackfriars which will be a spectacular building just on the Thames so we’ve a fantastic and very strong working relationship.

Inspiration behind the design of the Beetham Hilton Tower

When we thought about the design of the building it was quite simple really, we wanted a very elegant, very beautiful, very slender tower. And in that Tower would be the hotel rooms at the lower level and the building would step out and at the point we would then have what is now Cloud 23, the sky bar and above that point we have the residential. So the residential starts from level 25 going up to level 48 and the hotel sits below.

One of the exciting things about the design in my mind is the idea of entering the public realm; the hotel at ground floor level with its restaurants and bars and the public entrance and coming in and being able to look up and see the whole height of the building, going to a 170m to the top of the glass blade looking through the glass roof linking the entrance area. To the right as you come in we have the ballroom (a 650 seater), meeting rooms, restaurant and so forth and then the tower. So there’s a the clarity between the two elements and the reading of the building is very much about letting the residential step out and just that one 4 metre cantilever defines the separation between the hotel and residential elements of the building.

Manchester is an exciting place to live

There’s a lot of things going on in Manchester, it’s a fantastic place but the city is very much at the beginning of its transformation. The last 10 years has seen a lot of change in the city core, now we’ll see all the areas that are a few minutes walk away from the city centre starting to change with mixed use schemes: commercial, residential, retail.

So the building we’re in now will very much be at the heart of the city centre over the next few years and that’s an exciting place to be.

Beetham Tower Ian Simpson

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