A REFUGE FOR THE ORIGINALS

From
A sea of sameness; pastiche hotels for WAGS  

-> TO
A unique venue which embodies the Realness of Manchester

The former Princess St. hotel was literally plastered in plasterboard. A cover up of an old cotton mill, with the stunning original red brickwork of the city’s industrial past. It covered the beautiful rawness of the building, the greatness of the grit. A grit that is rooted in the city’s experience of honest graft. It depicted what the city stood for, its realness, its charm and its authenticity.

THE CHALLENGE

A city known for two football teams and a reality TV show. Much like the other hotels in the city, the hotel was captured in a time capsule of fakery. There was a gloss veneer which tarnished everything the city once stood for. In which hotels, the city’s ambassadors to the wider world, were hiding what Manchester was truly about. The culture and the creativity. We needed a new refuge for artists, a new haven for musicians, a new calling to the originals.

MAKERS / CREDIT: KASKI DESIGN, ALTROCK SURFACES, JAN HENDZEL

WHAT WE QUESTIONNED

We questioned what made Manchester so real? Its famed spirit of world-weary wit and wisdom. Its noble history of good laughs, of hard work, of doing things your own way. We questioned why we couldn’t provide an environment for people to express this, how to bring out not only the character of the building but the character of everyone who stayed there.

THE OUTCOME

The Alan; The Art of Real. A space to stay, eat, meet, entertain and be inspired. Where we reject the pretentious and cradle the imaginative. Where we stripped out the superfluous. A space where everything you see, feel and touch has been created by local craft makers, sustainably sourced or upcycled through the renovation process. A space where you can listen to an up-and-coming artist over their locally brewed coffee in the AM, stream a live podcast from the very basement in the evening, and listen to contemporary DJ sets in the lower ground floor till the sun rises.

0120 allowed us to think about things differently. We created a unique position for ourselves by taking out what hotels usually deemed as necessary and using that budget to create real value in the guest experiences. They were always ready to challenge the norm, and we wouldn’t have succeeded otherwise.” 

AMAR CHIMA
Director of Aspen Hotels

WHAT WE DID

Brand Strategy
Brand Identity
Brand Activation
Brand Experience Design
Interior consultancy
Photography
Website design and development
Print collateral design

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