11 York Street, Manchester

Speedpanel A2® Aluminium provides premium performance and aesthetic excellence for new Grade A office space in Manchester city centre.

An image of Speedpanel A2® Aluminium on the York Street Manchester project.

At the heart of Manchester’s thriving central business district, the recently completed 11 York Street development offers over 86,000 sqft of Grade A retail and office space across 7 storeys. Designed and built to the highest specifications, it delivers the very best in flexible, high quality commercial accommodation. In order to meet the exacting demands of the building’s design, high performance materials were specified throughout, including Speedpanel A2® Aluminium insulated spandrel panels within the curtain walling across all four facades.

Sector: Commercial | Retail

Architect: AHR

Main Contractor: Kier Construction

Product: Speedpanel A2® Aluminium

Finish: Anoloc Bronze

History meets modernity

The site sits inside the edge of a conservation area, in what was historically Manchester’s banking district, with many imposing buildings lining the streets nearby. One of the key challenges in the design of the new building was responding sensitively to the heritage of the area, making a positive contribution to the historic skyline whilst simultaneously delivering a thoroughly modern facility to meet the needs of city centre commercial activity. AHR drew on the materiality of the surrounding buildings – both old and new – to inform 11 York Street’s simple palette.

The building’s elegant concept incorporates a white concrete frame that reflects the white Portland Stone of the nearby Ship Canal House (Grade II) and the Midland Bank (Grade II*). The varied widths of the concrete columns are set in an irregular pattern, articulating the facade, and frame large areas of curtain walling, which are enlivened by vertical bronze panels and fins. This creates a contemporary echo of the bronze ferramenta adorning the neighbouring Grade II* listed Former National Westminster Bank.

It was essential that uniform curtain wall performance was maintained throughout the façade. Speedpanel A2® Aluminium insulated spandrel panels provided a non-vision solution for the areas of the building that needed to be concealed, whilst maintaining high standards of thermal and fire performance. In addition, the Anoloc Bronze anodised finish enabled continuation of the aesthetic detailing to the building’s exterior.

Constructing with confidence

Speedpanel A2® Aluminium spandrel panels were used as standard at the floor edges but were also employed to conceal the concrete core to the rear façade. Full height panels were used to provide the aesthetic and robust finish needed, in lieu of a traditional rainscreen. The glazed-in solution offered by Speedpanel A2® Aluminium allowed for a swift and straightforward installation. The single component approach removed the need for a complex, built up system on the spandrel zone, helping keep the build on track.

Whilst Speedpanel’s design flexibility ensured a high quality finish and supported realisation of the architectural vision, its tried and tested performance provided peace of mind. Independently tested, Speedpanel A2® achieves a fire classification of A2-s1, d0 in accordance with EN 13501-1:2018. Its excellent fire classification is coupled with high thermal performance, and can achieve U-values up to 0.26W/m2K. This contributed to the building obtaining its targeted BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC A rating, meeting the client’s requirements for the project to achieve exacting energy and sustainability targets.


21 October 2021