Blossom Street Social

Stephenson STUDIO, Manchester, 2020



Photography by Ben Stephenson     Download Original

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Following on from the well known Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants, Ben Stephenson opened his second venture in the heart of Ancoats

The location is a new shell retail unit, 6m wide, 20m long and 5m high. A shop front was in place and incoming services, but otherwise, the unit was bare. By necessity, the budget was very low, so the design approach was to minimise the applied finishes and only install the essentials needed to get the business going. The client managed the process himself which saved on overheads.

Big savings were made by having purpose designed elements made by a local metalworker. The tables have solid oak tops bought cheaply on the internet with metal bases. The light fittings were all designed and made in this way. Given the lack of finishes, we chose to paint the interior dark grey to integrate all the surfaces.

Considered of high importance, was the internal acoustic environment, so the soffit is covered with 100mm black paper faced Rockwool slabs for absorption. Sound transmission had already been dealt with by the developers under Blg Regs. The long glazed frontage gives a Hopper-esque feel as well as revealing the large wine display to the outside world.

Annual CO2 emissions data (requested in kg/m2/year) was not provided.


  • Begun: Jan 2020
  • Completed: Dec 2020
  • Floor area: 120m2
  • Sector: Retail
  • Total cost: £285,000
  • Funding: private
  • Tender date: Oct 2018
  • Procurement: self managed plus small works contract with interior contractor
  • Address: 51 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6BF, United Kingdom

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