C. Bechstein: Flagship Piano Showroom in the heart of Manchester

Studio Alliance member IIS Space created a stunning flagship acoustic piano showroom for C. Bechstein in the heart of Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter.

Taking inspiration from Manchester’s industrial past and rich classical music heritage, the space comprises of a double height, acoustically designed retail showroom, six purpose built sound insulated practice and teaching studios, offices, client lounge, kitchen/ bar and an elegant, intimate recital space.

The focal point of the space is a custom made welcome desk, which invites visitors into the showroom, greeting users of the practice rooms, and providing space for champagne receptions for recital performances.

The showroom itself presents an open plan layout is designed to allow a natural flow of people throughout the beautiful piano showrooms, both offering flexibility and allowing access to the visitor lounge/ home setting and workshop area. The recital space forms part of this open plan showroom; a bespoke suspended curtaining system encloses the low stage, creating a magical and intimate setting for both the guest and performer.

The practise studios are framed and highlighted by high bespoke cast concrete wall panelling and dramatic glass chandeliers in smoked glass and contrasting against the moody tones of the exposed ceiling and services. The finishes were carefully selected and positioned to both enhance the space and to provide very practical acoustic functions.

The project includes a permanent stencil graffiti by local artist STEWY of renowned pianist Stephen Hough. With a beautiful mix of raw materials, steel, concrete and timber, the showroom creates a unique backdrop for the beautifully crafted pianos displayed within the space.