Piccadilly Station, Manchester

November 7, 2011 Filed under: 2000s, Transport by Sanna Fisher-Payne Comments Off

Placed 49th in the Placebook vote of favourite buildings by BDP
Manchester Piccadilly is one of BDP's most highly-regarded projects of the last ten years, picking up awards from RIBA, Civic Trust, BCSC amongst others. Many passengers admire it too, including photographer Jane Messinger

When I worked at BDP as an Image Librarian in the early 2000s, Piccadilly Station in Manchester was one of the many projects that passed before my eyes. But the images of Piccadilly in particular formed a small gallery of vibrant, iconic views.

They contained all the energy and light indicative of the designs that had been coming out of BDP’s offices since the days of Preston Bus Station. (I could see this from the library of photos at my fingertips.) The project was successful for the client, for BDP, and for the community around it as well. When I visited Manchester and saw Piccadilly for myself, I realized that it had everything it appeared to have on paper: good design, accessibility, light and the space required for that volume of people on the move.

From what I’ve heard, the station is still considered an effective transit solution today. Stations, airports and bus stops are great, not least for the design and engineering required to build them. Places as seemingly banal as stations can stick in your mind because of the experiences you have when you are passing through them (or stuck in them for hours). Manchester Piccadilly is a great project, it’s got BDP written all over it, and it gets my nomination for Placebook.


Jane Messinger worked at BDP until 2006 before emigrating to Boston
janemessinger.com