Manchester College

Combining the use of complementary colour palettes, an offering of standard and distinct bespoke designs, Gresham was able to provide a cohesive, fluid environment throughout this refurbished Victorian building.

Project: Manchester College Citylabs
Client: Manchester College
Products: Desks, tables, storage, bespoke reception desk and soft seating and task chairs.


Citylabs is a 100,000 sq ft biomedical centre of excellence located in what was Manchester Royal Eye Hospital on the edge of the city centre. Manchester College took part of the ground floor of the redeveloped building to open its first Centre of Excellence for Medical Science and Gresham won the tender to supply furniture for the reception area, offices and classrooms. As the project progressed Gresham was also asked to provide library fittings and storage. There was a tight timeframe of just several weeks to agree the interior design scheme and complete the supply and installation, including the design and manufacture of a bespoke reception desk.


Gresham chose a range of furniture items from its catalogue that complement the modern aesthetic of the impressive £25m modernisation of this Victorian listed building. The blue, white and charcoal colour scheme gives the interior a fresh, clean appearance. Lifestyle chairs from Gresham’s Adore range give the communal areas a relaxed yet functional feel. For the four classrooms, the crisp, sharp lines of Gresham’s Theira range of seating have been adapted to include the addition of equally contemporary folding writing tablets – or spaces on which to rest tablet and laptop devices. In terms of mobile working, high tables have been adapted with stylish power- and USB-socket domes, enabling students to keep working while hiding the clutter of cables. Sofas and coffee tables complete the mixed-use communal areas.

The reception desk is an original, bespoke design created by Gresham. The polished laminate finish and angular lines reflect the redeveloped building’s strikingly modern façade. In addition to the original brief, Gresham created fixed and mobile tamber-door library units. Finished in bright white, all the doors are lockable and the castor-mounted units can be moved between classrooms or other areas as required.

Head Office
Gresham Office Furniture Limited, Platinum Park
Lynstock Way, Horwich, Bolton, BL6 4SA

T: 01204 664422

Design Showroom
65 Clerkenwell Road,
London, EC1R 5BL

T: +44 (0)20 7242 5709