THE QUEEN BEE
Kibre & Assael Interiors complete New Victoria in the heart of Manchester
Interior design and FF&E specialists, Kibre and Assael Interiors have teamed up to design the front of house and shared amenity areas at New Victoria, a stunning residential-led mixed use development in the heart of Manchester city centre.
The New Victoria development consists of two residential tower blocks designed by Sheppard Robson, providing 520 new homes over two 27 and 22 storeys, alongside ground-floor retails and public realm. Situated in a prime position with brilliant connections and a host of bars and restaurants, New Victoria is destined to be one of Manchester’s most sought-after new developments.
Kibre’s focus as the FF&E specialists, was to create a strong identity for the client with a warm and inviting interior, where residents could feel at home while also encouraging them to converse and socialise with one another. Kibre worked closely with Assael who designed the interiors, creating a welcoming and social atmosphere that not only enhances the overall experience for residents, but crucially also helps build a community.
Taking inspiration from Victorian heritage with a selection of rich fabrics, detailed glass work including opulent lighting and a variety of textures combining the modern and preloved. The design philosophy not only creates a visually appealing and balanced space but also promotes environmental consciousness by appreciating existing materials and aesthetics – creating a space that respects its history with the incorporation of innovative design. The towers themselves have a strong linear design, contributing to a modern and sleek appearance, standing out from the rest of the historic red-brick buildings that feature in the city centre, offering a dynamic and visually compelling blend of modernity and tradition.
Kibre and Assael designed a series of spaces that created a journey and enhanced the visitor experience as they enter and enjoy the space. The reception was a key focal point and one that Kibre wanted to have maximum impact – with the focus on the vintage and upcycled piano. The large leather banquette seating circled around a tree demonstrates the scale and quality of the interior, highlighting the spaciousness and organic element to the space.
From a sustainability point of view, Kibre has always focused on quality and longevity for their projects, and in this case, products they source, all to avoid falling into fast fashion schemes; a toxic industry for the environment. Kibre dedicate time and effort to consider their effect on the environment, and New Victoria was no different with all goods being sourced or made in the United Kingdom. This conscious effort not only helps promote the UK industry and manufacturing by supporting local businesses but also significantly reduces the carbon emissions associated with transportation and manufacturing processes, benefitting not only the client but also contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally aware industry.
Additionally, this approach aligns with the principles of a circular economy, with products and materials being reused, refurbished and recycled to minimise waste and promote sustainability; a focus for Kibre through the reuse of vintage items. New Victoria is furnished with multiple period items which are infused with character and a story, all giving them a new purpose within a contemporary setting. A key item that was upcycled within the foyer was a 1932 John Broadwood Small Cottage Upright piano from Milton Keynes Pianos, that was stripped, sprayed and given a new leash of life for New Victoria. With so much history on one single furniture piece, it creates an iconic centrepiece for the foyer that not only reflects Kibre’s sustainability efforts but also gives homage to a pre-war product.