Premier Construction

ICE Salford Exchange Quay

Written by Roma Publications

ICE at Salford’s Exchange Quay

Manchester-based architect and interior designer 74 has completed the refurbishment of Building 3 at Salford’s prestigious Exchange Quay – newly-rebranded as ICE.

The ICE project is one of a number of staged redesigns within the development, helping to create a more coherent family of buildings in the development’s striking waterside setting along the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

ICE is located on the development’s central spine, making it easily accessible from the pedestrian boulevard. The 26,000 sq ft, six-storey building offers good sized floor plates and excellent daylight ingress, served by a central circulation core.

As part of the project, 74 designed a newly expanded ground floor space to serve tenants of the whole development, including a reception, large meeting room (ICE Cube), lobby lounge and enlarged bar/social space to allow tenants to work, meet, socialise and relax, as well a first floor lounge and co-working space directly above the new bar.

The remainder of storey one and all of storeys 2-5 were then given a Cat-A fit-out, ready for new tenants looking for a cross between a corporate Grade A environment and a more stripped- back co-working environment.

74 Founder David Holt commented:
“We were very conscious of the type of business Exchange Quay might attract – and that’s a real cross-section, from finance through to retailers. This isn’t an old mill in Ancoats after all, but a 90s building with amazing, massive floorplates and so the design had to speak a broad but understated design language that would appeal to a multiplicity of tenant profiles.”

74 worked closely with the client teams to reconfigure the ground and first floor spaces to create the maximum usability, flexibility and contemporary appeal. Changes included an unmanned reception area, now a calm and welcoming double-height lounge space instead, accessed by a new entrance lobby with a sliding door and blue surround.

To the left of the new lobby space is a bookable meeting room – ICE Cube – whilst to the right, the lobby leads directly into the new dawn-to-dusk social space and bar. This space has a newly-doubled footprint, with a strong case made to the client of the value of losing three of the internal ground floor car parking spaces from the space directly behind.

The ICE social bar space is now a relaxed but high-impact space, with its own dedicated shopfront-entrance from the main Exchange Quay boulevard, via a striking grey-blue powder-coated aluminium squared-off arch.

An external terrace area beyond features 2-colour bonded aggregate flooring, loose tables and chair seating. Another addition was the new staircase to the rear of the bar area (in addition to the main stair from reception) creates a visual link up to the first-floor communal working space, which was located directly above the new social bar space.

A disabled toilet to the rear of the lobby area and ladies and gents toilets directly above on the first floor were also refurbished, whilst the new lettable office suites were stripped out and given new floors, ceilings and wall treatments, as well as WCs, tea points and kitchen areas.

For the interiors, a balance was sought between raw and exposed industrial elements, including metal and timber, and a cool and muted berry colour palette with softer, fine-lined furniture, ensuring a feminine and sophisticated addition to the scheme and off-setting the harder, mirror-glazed external face of the building.

The upper storeys of the building have been designed to target a cross-section of tenants wanting a Grade A workplace environment. The large, open floorplates provide a perfect blank canvas, with great views and fantastic levels of natural light.

To view more projects from 74, please visit


About the author

Roma Publications

Leave a Comment