Lowry Hotel, Manchester, United Kingdom


The £30 million Lowry Hotel Manchester, owned by RF Hotels Ltd, opened in April 2001 with 165 bedrooms, conference and banqueting suites, ballroom, health spa, two restaurants and a bar.

THE LOWRY HOTEL

The Lowry Hotel opened in Manchester and is the city's only five-star hotel. Located in Manchester's city-centre, the Lowry Hotel is part of the new Chapel Wharf development on the banks of the River Irwell. Located next to Calatrava's landmark Trinity footbridge, it is one and a half miles from The Lowry complex, Manchester's Millennium project for the arts. The Lowry is Manchester's only hotel to have been awarded membership of The Leading Hotels of the World.

The construction of the Lowry was a turnkey project where public areas, kitchens, restaurant, banqueting facilities, health and conference suites were built from scratch. The project also entailed appropriate provisions for staff and administration.

BUILDING STRUCTURE

The Lowry Hotel structure is a reinforced concrete frame on continuous flight auger piles constructed on a brown field site adjacent to the River Irwell. The external façades are glazed with rain screen cladding hung from the frame. Public and service areas are situated on the two lower floors, with the conference centre accessible through a second entrance. Junior suites and presidential suites are situated on the floors above.

HOTEL FAÇADE

The unitised glazing system was delivered in framed, pre-fabricated sealed units that were bolted back to brackets in the concrete slab edge. The glazing units then slot into each other to complete the façade. As they are fixed into position from the building's interior, there is no need for scaffolding and the building is watertight much earlier in the construction phase than with more conventional methods.

PRE-FABRICATED BATHROOM PODS AND PIPING SYSTEM

One of the innovations employed during construction of the Lowry were pre-fabricated bathroom pods designed by Jarvis design. The pods consist of a concrete shell, which is completely fitted and finished internally as a bathroom upon delivery.

Inside a specially adapted cradle, the pods were lowered by a crane through slots left out in the structural slab, into the exact position desired. The pod were then mechanically and electrically connected to the exterior. Manufactured under factory conditions and remaining sealed until installation, the pod interiors are of a higher quality, and less prone to damage, than if the single components were installed on site. The marble bathrooms are fitted with luxury baths and power showers.

Designed by Mannesmann, a special pressfitting system was used for hot and cold water pipe connections to the bathroom pods. Stainless steel pipes were joined by stainless steel connectors with factory-fitted seal rings. These were compressed to form a watertight joint using a crimping tool. The benefits of this technique over soldered copper systems are a lessened risk of fire from the soldering equipment, and the speed at which joints are made.

BEDROOMS

The bedroom areas from the third to eighth floors include junior suites and a presidential suite, all in a light and contemporary design. The loft-like rooms are furnished with coffee tables, seating, walk-in wardrobe and large king size beds. Furthermore, all bedrooms are equipped with two phone lines, voice messaging, dataport, interactive satellite TV, fax connection, mini bar, safe, portable professional hairdryer, trouser press and additional storage space. The Deluxe City View bedrooms are 35m² in size with 2m wide beds. They are fitted with the 'Olga Chair', a spacious working desk and an ergonomically designed desk chair.

CONFERENCE ROOMS

One of the Lowry Hotel's floors exclusively hosts conference and banqueting facilities with a separate entrance. The climate-controlled rooms are equipped with state of the art audio-visual technology.

SPA AND HEALTH FACILITIES

The Lowry Hotel has a gym, seven treatment rooms, health suite, relaxation rooms, sauna and steam rooms and is fully equipped to cater for disabled guests.

MAIN CONTRACTORS

The lead consultant, architect and interior designer for the Lowry hotel, health spa and conference centre was Consarc Design Architects. The main contractor was Jarvis Construction UK Ltd. The project manager was Heyrods, with Panudda Foers as interior designers. Planning supervision was undertaken by GTPS.

Drake & Scull Ltd were the mechanical and electrical contractor, Bathsystem SA the bathroom pod supplier and Jarvis the designer. CAP Aluminium were the curtain wall supplier and installer. Acoustic Design Technology were employed as acoustic consultant, Buro Happold as structural and civil engineer and David Stroud Associates as kitchen consultant. Cost consultant was Gardiner & Theobald.