Loaf commissions public art for campaign at former BBC site

David Prior's picture

Public art provides the focus of a Loaf Agency placemaking campaign for Circle Square, the £750m Bruntwood SciTech and Vita Group joint venture development on the landmark former BBC site in Manchester.

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 Shape campaign 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.

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 CGIs of the spaces that are being developed, but articulate in an interesting way what is being created as part of this extraordinary new neighbourhood.

Some of the public art on show

“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.”

Loaf selected artists on the basis of their connections to Manchester. 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, added: “What better way to bring that brand to life than through the work of a quintet of extraordinarily talented contemporary artists?"

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.

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