Design Practice Location:
The Refuge by Volta is a 10,000-square-foot series of interlinking F&B (food and beverage) spaces, comprised of a bar, restaurant, ‘den’ and Winter Garden at the heart of Principal Manchester. The hotel is set within a Grade II*-listed Victorian Gothic Revival building, originally designed in 1891 by Alfred Waterhouse as the headquarters for The Refuge Assurance Company Ltd, before becoming the Palace Hotel in the 1990s. Previously, the space had been partitioned and painted over, masking its incredible scale and rich material splendour. The design brief was to reveal and revel in the building’s original glory, but also to create an exciting and highly-functional contemporary space. It also had to succeed as a destination space for non-hotel-guests in order to fill such huge volumes. The resulting design was met with acclaimed by the press, who noted its success in turning such a large area into a space of real beauty.