Circle Square Development Oxford Road Artwork, Former BBC Building Manchester Hoarding

Circle Square Development Oxford Road

Hoarding Art for New Manchester Buildings at former BBC site, England, UK – design by Loaf Agency

7 Sep 2019

Circle Square Art on Oxford Road

Design: Loaf Agency

Location: Oxford Rd, central-south Manchester, Northwest England, UK

Loaf produces art-based placemaking campaign for Circle Square site boundary

Extraordinary Taking Shape reflects landmark development’s future features

Newly-commissioned art provides the focus of an innovative Loaf Agency placemaking campaign for Circle Square, the £750m Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group joint venture development on the landmark former BBC site in Oxford Road, Manchester.

Circle Square Development Oxford Road Art

Loaf commissioned five artists to produce new work for display on the 169ft site hoarding surrounding Circle Square, each emphasising a characteristic of the development within Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor Innovation District. Artwork will remain in place for at least a year.

Designed to increase awareness of the new neighbourhood during construction, Loaf devised the Extraordinary Taking Shapecampaign theme to reflect the vision that Circle Square will be “a place to enable the extraordinary” when complete. Loaf has also created a range of campaign assets to launch Extraordinary Taking Shapeon social media, including a short digital film introducing the artists’ work.

Circle Square Oxford Road hoarding

Target audiences for the public art display include potential occupants and the wider community.

Liz Bamber, Marketing Manager for Circle Square, said: “We were keen to take a different approach with this campaign and not just use the hoarding to show CGI’s of the spaces that are being developed, but articulate in an interesting way what is being created as part of this extraordinary new neighbourhood.

“Loaf’s idea to work with the artists was a great way of achieving this. Taking this approach meant that we were giving others a platform to share their own interpretation of what’s to come and at the same time create a new piece of public art.”

Circle Square Manchester Oxford Road Artwork

Loaf selected artists on the basis of their connections to Manchester and to reflect an eclectic range of styles and approaches – from illustrators and visual artists to mural designers.

Josh Harrison’s artwork represents Student Spaces; Javier’s art represents the retail and leisure offering; Steven Waring’s art represents Green Space; Nomad Clan’s art represents Living Space; and Lei Mai’s art represents Workspaces.

Alan Houghton, managing director of Loaf Agency, based in Ancoats, Manchester, said: “What better way to bring that brand to life than through the work of a quintet of extraordinarily talented contemporary artists? Bringing brands to life through human experiences is where Loaf excels and we are excited to have played a part in helping to expose Circle Square’s place-making concept to the thousands of people who pass by every day.

Circle Square Development Oxford Road Manchester Artwork

“Building on the location’s history, Extraordinary Taking Shape emphasises that Circle Square is a new urban destination where extraordinary things will happen.”

Circle Square is an exciting new addition to the Oxford Road Corridor, an Innovation District renowned as the location of numerous Manchester firsts across the fields of science, politics, culture and art.

The development will comprise 1m sq ft of high-quality workspace, 1,700 new homes and over 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including shops, restaurants, bars and leisure space.

Circle Square Development Oxford Road Artwork

Circle Square Oxford Road Hoarding Artists

About the artists

The artists Loaf chose to work with were asked to create work highlighting different aspects of the Circle Square development.

· Josh Harrison’s artwork represents Circle Square’s Student Spaces. He said: “My work was built on the idea of Student Spaces being formative and nurturing. Through collage and mark making processes I wanted to communicate an idea of symbiosis between individuals and the city, to demonstrate how they each inform and better one another.”

· Javier’s art represents the retail and leisure offering at Circle Square. Established, Mexican illustrator Javier has worked with global brands. Through his previous life as an architect he has extensive knowledge of Manchester’s architecture and in particular, the importance of the Oxford Road railway. He said: “I wanted to involve the viewer in an extraordinary area of joy, where fun things and nice stories to remember are happening. Spectators could interact directly within this area and calmly gaze at these lovely activities, and maybe find things or situations they can get identified with. Yes, just as we do when we enjoy a drink in a pavement cafe.”

· Steven Waring’s art represents Circle Square’s Green Space. Steven is a Manchester based designer and co-founder of ‘From Parts Unknown’ brand, design and art practise. He said: “A composition building an other worldly landscape – the intersect between natural and manmade.”

· Nomad Clan’s art represents Circle Square’s Living Space. Nomad Clan is a collaboration between Cbloxx and Aylo , together they are an internationally-acclaimed, street art muralist duo based in Manchester. They said: “For us wherever we lay our hat is our home, being traveling artists will do that to you! However when we are back at our place in MCR we realise the idea of home is much more than the walls that contain us, home is the essence of the city itself. Its tradition, heritage, personal connection, memories, friends and family.”

· Lei Mai’s art represents Circle Square’s Work Spaces. Lei Mai is an experimental, Manchester-based artist and maker.She said: “I wanted to keep my designs simple and true to my artwork. I used cogs to symbolise the fact that no matter how minor or major a role in work somebody/something has they’re always a necessary part to keep the machine turning!”

About Loaf Agency
Loaf is an independent brand experience agency, driven by The Beautiful Idea. We help brands deliver distinctive experiences in an ever evolving landscape, that move + motivate their customers, and build a more desirable and relevant brand for today, and tomorrow.

About Circle Square
A landmark new neighbourhood in the heart of Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, Circle Square is a diverse 2.4m sq ft urban destination, a unique location to live, learn and relax, a place where science, technology and the arts meet and mix to enable the extraordinary.

A joint venture between Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group, Circle Square provides 1.2 million sq ft of high quality workspace offering a mix of coworking, collaboration space and small suites; 1,700 new homes; 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, two hotels; 250,000 sq ft of beautifully designed public realm and car parking for 1,014 vehicles.

It is already home to the re-launched Manchester Technology Centre which offers a specialist incubator for start-ups and entrepreneurs focussing on data science and innovation and new pop up retail and leisure destination – Hatch

Construction is currently underway, with two thirds expected to be complete in 2020.


Circle Square Oxford Road Artwork images / information received 060619

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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