Beetham Tower, Manchester

Beetham Tower, Manchester
Beetham Tower
The Hilton

The Beetham Tower, Manchester city centre
General information
Status Complete
Type Hotel/residential
Location 301–303 Deansgate, Manchester, England
Coordinates 53°28′31″N 2°15′01″W / 53.47528°N 2.25028°W / 53.47528; -2.25028Coordinates: 53°28′31″N 2°15′01″W / 53.47528°N 2.25028°W / 53.47528; -2.25028
Construction started 2004
Completed 2006[1][2]
Cost £150 million[3]
Roof 168.87 m (554.0 ft)[2]
Technical details
Floor count 48
Design and construction
Main contractor Carillion[3]
Architect Ian Simpson Architects[3]
Developer Beetham Organization[3]
Structural engineer WSP Group

Beetham Tower is a landmark 47-storey residential skyscraper in Manchester city centre, England. Completed in 2006, it is named after the developers, Beetham Organization, was designed by Ian Simpson, and built by Carillion.[3]

At a height of 168 metres (551 ft), it is the tallest skyscraper in Manchester overtaking the CIS Solar Tower. In addition, the Beetham Tower is the tallest building in the United Kingdom outside of London, and overall the eighth-tallest building in the UK. The skyscraper is visible from 10 English counties on a clear day and is the tallest residential building in the country.[4]

It consists of a Hilton Hotel up to level 23 and apartments from level 25 up to the triplex penthouse on level 47.[2] There are also 2 basement levels, which contain car parking for the residents of the apartments. The tower lies on Deansgate and has two postal addresses, with the apartments falling under 301 Deansgate and the hotel under 303 Deansgate. Widely referred to as Beetham Tower, it is also known colloquially as the Hilton Tower owing to the corporate logos placed on the 24th storey, on each side of the building.[5]



Located along Deansgate at the junction with Great Bridgewater Street and Liverpool Road, it has 47 floors and is 168.87 metres (554 ft) in height, making it the tallest building in the UK outside London, the UK's 8th tallest building and the tallest residential development in Europe.[5] It is the tallest building in Manchester, having overtaken the CIS Tower. In comparison, the UK's tallest building, One Canada Square, is 235 metres (771 ft) tall.[2] When the Shard London Bridge is complete it will stand at 310 meters over taking One Canada Square making the Beetham Tower the 9th tallest building in the United Kingdom.

The tower contains a four-star 279 bedroom Hilton Hotel[3] for the first 22 floors. The 23rd floor is deeper than those below by 4m, and has two glass windows in the floor, offering views down to the ground from the skybar Cloud 23,[6] which is the only skybar in Manchester. The floor also has a bar and lounge, both operated by Hilton.[5] From the 25th to 47th floors, the tower is occupied by residential apartments.[7]

As part of the project, a 12-storey office block is due to be constructed adjacent to the tower,[3] with 6,506 square metres of floor space.[8] The hotel also has a 4-storey annex, containing a swimming pool, ballroom, conference rooms and coffee shop.[6]

The architect, Ian Simpson, bought and resides in the top floor penthouse,[9] which is the highest living space in Britain. It cost him £3 million.[6] The residence occupies the top two storeys of the building[5] and features a semi-indoors garden containing 21 four-metre high olive, lemon and oak trees, shipped from Italy, and placed before the roof was built.

The tower offers views of the set of Coronation Street, and on a clear day it is also possible to see Liverpool, the mountains of Snowdonia, the Pennines mountain range, the Peak District, Liverpool Cathedral,[10] Blackpool Tower,[2] much of the Cheshire Plain, the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory, City of Manchester Stadium, MEN Arena, Old Trafford, The Lowry and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.[10]


The site was originally occupied by a redundant section of railway viaduct.[8] Planning permission for the development was given in October 2003, at which point 206 of the 219 apartments had already been sold, as well as 4 of the 16 penthouses.[11] The viaduct was demolished in March 2004, and the twin cores of the building were above ground level at the end of August 2004. One of the two cores reached a height of 125 m at the end of July 2005, at which point the building became the tallest UK skyscraper outside of London.[8]

The Beetham Hilton Tower was built entirely using post-tensioned flat slab concrete construction[12] and was the first building in the UK to use the Doka SKE 100 automatic climbing system and trapezoidal windshield.[13]

The tower had its official "topping-out" ceremony on 26 April 2006. Local wind conditions dictated that the building's height had to be reduced by a little more than 2 metres (6.6 ft) from its originally planned height of 171 metres (561 ft).[2] The hotel opened and received its first guests on 9 October 2006, and the first apartment residents moved in during 2007.[citation needed]

The building cost £150 million to construct.[3]


During the installation of the glass and steel "blade" architectural feature on the roof, a strange noise problem emerged. People reported that the building "whistles" (more like an intermittent hum) in windy weather. The sound is close to standard musical C (approximately 262 Hertz); some say it is like a "UFO landing" in sci-fi films.[14] The noise affected the production of local soap opera, Coronation Street with producers having to create extra background noise as the tower is close to the show's set.

On 11 September 2008 a piece of glass had a fault and cracked; the street below was cordoned off for several hours until the matter was resolved.

There were reports the project was commercially suffering due to the UK's 2008 housing market slowdown. One newspaper report stated that (as of September 2008) 55 of 219 apartments were waiting to be let and a further 30 were unsold.[15] At September 2010, the Manchester rental market has improved considerably and only 2 apartments of the total 219 in the building are unoccupied as they await interior fit-out.

During the early hours of 29 January 2009 a fire broke out on the 31st floor. A partial evacuation of the complex took place and the fire was brought under control within one hour. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are yet to produce a final investigation report into the cause of the blaze, which left one apartment uninhabitable.

On 14 February 2011 the company that operates the Hilton Hotel, Beetham Hotels Manchester Ltd, went into administration. However this does not affect the day to day running of the hotel, and they are currently looking for a new buyer. The Beetham Organization itself is not in administration and nor is the company that owns the tower. (The Hotel is now operated by Blue Hotels)[16]


See also

  • No. 1 Deansgate, another glass residential building on the same road, also designed by Ian Simpson
  • Piccadilly Tower, a similar hotel/residential skyscraper proposed in Manchester


  1. ^ "Work starts on luxury high rise". BBC News. 28 April 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "City building reaches full height". BBC News. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Beetham Tower Manchester". SkyScraperNews. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  4. ^ "How We Built Britain". 18 September 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Information about the Beetham Tower Manchester". Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  6. ^ a b c "Beetham Tower Manchester Celebrates Top Out". SkyScraperNews. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  7. ^ "Information about the Hilton Hotel in the Beetham Tower". Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  8. ^ a b c "Beetham Reaches New Heights In Manchester". SkyScraperNews. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  9. ^ CustomControls - Crestron Installation in the Beetham Tower
  10. ^ a b "Landmarks to see from the Beetham Tower in Manchester". Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  11. ^ "Green light for high living". BBC News. 27 October 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  12. ^ "A Guide to Civil Engineering in Manchester". Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  13. ^ Seers, Richard (October 2005). "Keeping Beetham Tower on target". Concrete. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  14. ^ "Buildings that whistle in the wind". New Scientist Tech. 4 August 2006. 
  15. ^ Jamieson, Alastair (27 September 2008). "Britain suffering from a buy-to-let blowout". Daily Telegraph. 
  16. ^ Barns, Kat (18 February 2011). "Administrators called in at Beetham’s Manchester and Liverpool hotel firms". 

External links

Preceded by
CIS Tower
Tallest Building in Manchester
Succeeded by
Preceded by
CIS Tower
Tallest Building outside London, UK
Succeeded by

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