Bloc in Manchester city centre is an inspiring wellbeing-focused workspace. Launched by workspace and leisure specialist Bruntwood Works, Bloc is part of the £50m Pioneer redevelopment programme. This programme is creating vibrant, community-focused workspaces centred on six key principles; biophilia, art, sustainability, wellness, amenity and technology.
Ideally located between King Street and Market Street, Bloc is housed in a 16-storey building that used to be a standard office block. The visionary space now offers high-quality workspaces, with a wealth of shared features such as a state-of-the-art yoga studio, a sleep pod, an independent coffee shop and a garden in the foyer. Bloc also offers a cinema room, space for community events and co-working areas to encourage collaboration, while advanced technology will monitor and optimise air quality. Bloc’s focus on sustainability is demonstrated through its innovative, two-storey living wall that provides oxygen and helps to reduce noise levels. A blue/green roof reduces the discharge of rainwater, with wildflowers to support biodiversity and offer an additional thermal barrier. Created in partnership with engineered water and climate management solutions specialist Polypipe, it is Manchester’s first wildflower roof, with the aim to attract a rare native blue butterfly.
As part of the approach of providing this unique working environment, lighting designer Luke Artingstall of Artin Light has created an impressive lighting scheme. As part of the scheme, an innovative grid of lights has been embedded into the living wall, which brings Bloc to life during darker hours with delicate swathes of organic light. The wall, which appears to glow, gives the effect of delicately coloured flowers and blooms within the greenery. This juxtaposes beautifully with the stark architecture of the building.
The lighting scheme applies lighting design techniques favoured by hospitality venues to a commercial setting. With more focus on communal hubs where interaction and collaboration happen, using the social elements of hospitality lighting within the commercial arena delivers flexible lighting, with great variation, that allows workers to engage with the space in whichever way they choose.
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 supplier 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.