MediaCityUK Phase 1

Manchester, UK

MediaCityUK is a remarkable story of transformation. The once derelict Salford docklands have been transformed into a state-of-the-art, purpose-built media hub and vibrant waterfront community, home to the BBC and 200 of the world’s most exciting creative, tech and media brands. As part of the first phase, we have delivered a generous piazza, media park and waterfront boulevard that has brought vitality to this part of Manchester.

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At the heart of the new landscape is a multifunctional Piazza, with a radial geometry and elegant arrangement of natural stone paving that establishes a dynamic connection between the waterfront and the adjacent buildings. Its broad expanse serves as a function space for activities, media events and large gatherings and is enhanced at night by over 350 computer-controlled LED up-lighters and dramatic 20m high sculptural lighting masts.

Sitting in sharp contrast to the sleek lines of the Piazza is Media Park - the development’s green heart. Here, rich naturalistic planting with timber decking and sweeping paths create intimate spaces for strolling, relaxing and creative inspiration, as well as attractive backdrops for outdoor broadcasts. Responding to its waterside location, the informality of the park is expressed in the waves of undulating greenery that reflect and juxtapose with the radial geometry of the site.

The development features custom-made granite benches with wooden inlays that provide plenty of seating. The area's industrial story is acknowledged through the use of construction materials such as steel, natural stone, cement, and wood, which reflect the former dockside character in a modern and contemporary style.

MediaCityUK is the first project in the world to receive a BREEAM ‘Communities Excellent’ accreditation.

Having successfully delivered the public realm for the first phase of MediaCity, Gillespies is now delivering public realm design for the second phase of MediaCityUK. The ambitious £1 billion expansion plans will see the existing MediaCityUK development more than double in size with the addition of ten new buildings, providing 540,000 square feet of Grade A office space, 1,800 new apartments, retail and leisure spaces together with an extensive new public realm.


  • 2013 BIFM Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award
  • 2011 North West Regional Construction Award
  • 2010 Salford Design Awards: Best Public Realm
  • 2009 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Award

"Gillespies landscaping [for MediaCityUK] is intelligent, for instance in the way it cuts through the high wharf edges to create broad steps down to the water, and offsets hard and soft landscape areas"

Hugh Pearman, RIBA Journal