Jenga-style hotel to be built in Manchester city centre

Artist's impression of the Leonardo hotel Image copyright Stephenson Square
Image caption The Leonardo has already won a design award

A hotel "inspired by Jenga blocks" is due to be built in Manchester city centre after the council approved plans.

Known as the Leonardo, it has already won a design award from the Manchester Society of Architects.

The hotel is also inspired by "vertical forest" blocks in Italy which house hundreds of shrubs and trees.

Councillor praised the "innovative" design but questioned how easy it would be to keep the white exterior clean.

One objector wrote to the panel that white materials would not "age well' in the city's climate.

Officers said the concrete materials were "really good quality" and that a mock-up of the 13-storey block would be created to ensure developers get the details right.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The hotel's design has been inspired by "vertical forest" tower blocks in Milan

Councillor Ben Clay said: "This is a fine example of the right building in the right place. If it had been the other end of Great Ancoats Street, impinging on the conservation area, I'd have been up in arms because it's very different.

"But in that area where there's no Victorian buildings in the immediate vicinity and it's all modern warehouse-type structures, I think it's great to see an innovative building."

Manchester-based developers Capital and Centric will build the 275-room hotel, which includes a ground floor bar and restaurant, on Adair Street in Piccadilly.

Their plans also include a small public square outside the hotel.

Co-founder Adam Higgins told councillors they wanted to create a "unique and interesting" design that would bring "vitality" back to the area.

The hotel is part of the firm's wider plans for Piccadilly, which includes turning nearby Crusader Mill into 200 flats and creating a mix of serviced flats and a hotel at Ducie Street warehouse.

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