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The Alchemist launches at MediaCityUK

The Alchemist, ‘Manchester’s favourite cocktail bar’, has revealed its most impressive venture to date with the UK’s first ever gold roofed bar and restaurant, that locals have coined the ‘golden spaceship’. The site, which has been five years in the making, is set to be a ‘welcoming beacon’ for the area with its origami inspired design and shimmering rooftop.

The site’s roof, which is highly visible from many of the surrounding buildings, was a key consideration when designing the building. Marion Room of Reid Architects comments:

“The glistening gold form is actually made from a zinc product. The gold colour is produced by altering a pigment within the metal; not quite Alchemy (as the bars name would suggest), but perhaps the next best thing considering its cost effectiveness against the £3million project”.

The brief supplied to Reid Architects in 2012 was to create a stand-out ‘welcoming beacon’ in the form of a bar and restaurant facility on the previously uninhabited link bridge between MediaCityUK site and The Lowry Outlet. The form of the building evolved from a mixture of factors including early discussions with the planning department who were keen to maintain long views across the water.

Marion continues:

“It was designed in such a way that the building form would essentially have no ‘rear’ elevation – its aspect onto the road was made to be as important as its relationship with the waterfront.

“The resultant form is a seamless, folded metal geometry that reaches out over the water’s edge, a shining jewel for the area whose reflection sparkles in the water.”

The interior design was said to have brought about its own challenges as the interiors team worked through the challenge of applying finishes to the interior of a building that had such a complex external geometry, however the result is truly bedazzling; angular blackened steel walls and a bronze bar extends from the interior to wrap around the enclosed outdoor terrace – ideal for al fresco drinking and dining.

Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, said: “This is our first custom built site for The Alchemist and gave us the opportunity to form a space that truly expresses our theatrical bar and restaurant concept both inside and out. We wanted to create a statement building that would stop people in their tracks and we certainly feel that the architects have met this brief.”

The Alchemist MediaCityUK site opens on 31st August. This site marks the 11th for the brand which launched its first site at Spinningfields (Manchester) in 2010.

The Alchemist is backed by Palatine Private Equity, who supported a buy out from Living Ventures in 2015.

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