Property firm Bruntwood Works will spend £3m on a refresh of its Plaza office building in Liverpool and has hired the owners of Duke Street Food and Drink Market to open a new restaurant. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool hospitality business GSG Hospitality is to create a “destination restaurant” as part of a £3m refresh of The Plaza office complex that will put a new emphasis on wellness.
Plaza owner Bruntwood Works has enlisted GSG, the business behind Duke Street Food and Drink Market, Bold Street Coffee and Salt Dog Slim’s, to create a “vibrant and welcoming space” in the entrance hall to the building.
Built in 1965 as the headquarters of the Littlewoods group, the 18-storey Plaza in St Paul’s Square is one of the most imposing buildings on Liverpool’s skyline. It comprises more than 350,000 q ft of office space.
Bruntwood Works says it wants to create a workspace environment that’s designed to “build and enhance community connection”. It will aim to blend work and lifestyle to transform the amenities and experience for the building’s community and guests, nods back to the “spirit and aspirations of the 1960s”.
The tie-up with GSG, the full details of which will be revealed in 2021, will see a coffee shop and restaurant alongside a pop-up retail space and cocktail bar. This latest transformation is part of Bruntwood Works’ £50m Pioneer programme across its Northern England estate.
The revamp will also include bespoke lighting, audio zones and quiet study spaces to “enhance the working environment and boost productivity”, while planting and biophilic design will be integrated to boost oxygen levels. There will be 142 bike spaces, 18 showers and a new wellness studio to host fitness classes.
To support this focus on wellbeing, smart technology will be used throughout to enhance sustainability and connectivity. Green tech such as photovoltaic tiles will harness solar power and energy-saving sensors within the building will be used to optimise efficiency.
And, while new air quality control systems will further support wellbeing and the installation of RG Nets – sophisticated and high-performance IP networks – means people will be fully connected throughout the building.
Ciara Keeling, chief executive of Bruntwood Works, said: “The Plaza has always had an iconic presence on Liverpool’s skyline and this transformation will not only create a vibrant destination in the heart of the commercial quarter, it will set a new standard for workspace in the city.
“It will become one of the most innovative buildings in the North West, provide a first-class hospitality experience with an exciting new food and drink operator, and create a more fitting home for forward-thinking, ambitious businesses across Liverpool.
“Putting our customers at the heart of what we do has always shaped our thinking, and at The Plaza we’re creating a blend of work, leisure and wellbeing in a space to suit our customers’ changing focuses and needs.”
Set to complete in summer 2021, it will achieve the same standards as Bruntwood Works’ British Safety Council accredited workspaces for COVID-secure use. The project will be supported by Cubic Works by Bruntwood (Contractor & Mechanical Engineer) and Phaus (Interior Architect).
Matthew Farrell, co-founder and director of GSG Hospitality, said: “The new concept will be a multifaceted offering that will be a welcome addition to the commercial district and also for Bruntwood Works’ customers and the wider community.”