In a prime Manchester city centre location, between King Street and Market Street, Bloc is an inspirational, wellbeing-focused workspace. Having renovated a former standard 16-storey office block, workspace and leisure specialist Bruntwood Works have launched the inspiring co-working space as part of its £50m Pioneer redevelopment programme.
Pioneer is creating vibrant, community-focused workspaces centred on six key areas – biophilia, art, sustainability, wellness, amenity and technology.
Bloc is an innovative approach to the workplace, providing high-quality work areas, alongside a host of social and wellbeing offerings. These include a state-of-the-art yoga studio, a sleep pod, an independent coffee shop, and a cinema room. There is space for community events and co-working areas to encourage collaboration.
Adding to the wellbeing focus, advanced technology monitors and optimises the air quality within the building.
As part of Bloc’s focus on sustainability, an impressive two-storey living wall provides oxygen and helps to reduce noise levels. A blue/green roof reduces the discharge of rainwater, while wildflowers support biodiversity with the added benefit of offering an extra thermal barrier. The roof, Manchester’s first wildflower roof, has been created in partnership with engineered water and climate management solutions experts Polypipe.
Artin Light was appointed as the lighting designer for the project. To match the unique working environment, lighting designer Luke Artingstall has created a beautifully crafted scheme that showcases every element of Bloc to its full potential.
The lighting scheme takes inspiration from lighting design techniques that would traditionally be used in hospitality venues. These are then applied to Bloc’s commercial setting, supporting the focus on social interaction and collaborative working. This approach ensures a flexible lighting scheme that allows workers to engage with the space however, and whenever, they choose.
An innovative grid of lights has been embedded into the living wall, which brings Bloc to life with discreet light once darkness sets in. The wall appears to glow, creating the impression of delicately coloured flowers and blossoms within the greenery. This contrasts with the blunt architecture of the building, working to soften this.
Bloc can transition from day to night with dynamic scene setting lighting, while also having the capability to create saturated coloured wash schemes for events.
To fulfil the requirements of the ambitious lighting scheme, Artin Light appointed leading LED solutions provider LITE. The LED solutions were supplied and commissioned by LITE Architectural, which offers a portfolio of carefully curated market-leading LED and controls solutions.
LITE specified 3150 nodes of iColour Flex LMX gen 2 from Color Kinetics, alongside 16 units of Lumenfacade Nano from Lumenpulse. Also from Lumenpulse, 8 units of Lumenbeam Medium have been used in Bloc.
To manage the control requirements of this ambitious project, LITE has specified a number of products from lighting control specialists Pharos Architectural Controls. These include the LPC 20, RIO 80, RIO 44, Rio D, four Button Panel Stations (BPS) and two Touch Panel Controllers (TPC). These all work in harmony to deliver unrivalled control for the Bloc development.
The LPC from Pharos is an all-in-one control solution ideal for themed entertainment and LED lighting installations such the innovative grid of lights that has been embedded into the internal living wall.
The Pharos BPS (Button Panel Station) is a versatile 8-button station with integrated button LEDs that works with any Pharos Designer Controller. Completing the system, the TPC is an award-winning Touch Panel Controller with sleek styling, an advanced lighting control playback engine and a fully integrated user interface. This enables Bloc to gracefully transition between a variation of lighting scenes both internally and externally.
Tim Edwards, Technical Sales Manager from Pharos said: “The lighting design at Bloc is groundbreaking, and to achieve the outstanding results and flexibility over the use of the lighting, an extensive controls system was needed. Pharos was proud to be able to offer all elements of control, through specification experts LITE, to bring the scheme to life while also making it truly able to adapt to the needs of the space.”
Paul Barnes, National Architectural Sales Director of LITE, added: “Working on innovative projects such as Bloc is always a pleasure. We were able to specify a number of solutions from our carefully selected portfolio of leading brands and controls to fulfill the impressive lighting design. Having used Pharos controls on many projects, I felt this was one of the best controls solutions and perfect to achieve the desired end result required for a dynamic project such as Bloc.”
Lighting Design – Luke Artingstall of Artin Light
Client – Bruntwood Works
Lighting Controls – Pharos Architectural Controls
Lighting Solutions Provider – LITE Architectural
Photography courtesy of LITE Architectural