The Hive was designed in 2006.
The Hive was Jon Matthews’ first architectural commission shortly after setting up the Manchester office of HKR Architects in 2005. It embodies the studio manifesto of Jon Matthews Architects and is a test bed for projects that have followed.
Seventeen years on, the conversation on how our buildings consume energy in use and react in a sustainable way to the planet, is only just catching up with the agenda set by this pioneering building.
It was innovative not just in location but in concept. A reduction of carbon in design and operation, natural ventilation in a speculative Grade A office building, thermal mass, solar control through the façade and roof top amenity are now mainstream design discussions.
Argent LLP
110,000 sqft Grade A Office Space
Argent Estates was the far-sighted client and David Partridge in particular supported this new direction in sustainable, efficient office design. When complete the building was misunderstood by some mainstream industry types and derided for its lack of glass curtain walling and energy hungry air conditioning.
Post-occupancy evaluation, another innovation at the time, showed just how efficient it is in operation. And it is still saving energy. Year on year. Occupational energy use is now also mainstream and has led to the development of standards such as NABERS.
The Hive is of course a contextual piece of architecture too. An award winning office building which has been a commercial and civic success. It formed part of a significant piece of urban regeneration designed as a home for creative industries. The palette of materials is intentionally Mancunian and modern.
Infographic courtesy of Paul Weston and Argent LLP
Photography by Daniel Hopkinson