First Look: Cultureplex – the former warehouse being transformed into the city’s newest hangout spot

Is Cultureplex set to be a new nerve centre of the North with a restaurant, boutique cinema, gym and more?

Yesterday we had the pleasure of having a little sneak preview of Cultureplex at Ducie Street Warehouse. Personally I have been excited about this for a while as it’s pretty much all I ever dreamed about all under one roof – coffee, brunch, cocktails, the incredible Bistrotheque restaurant, a cinema room, private dining area, and an appearance from BLOK gym.

It’s a widely known fact that I rarely leave the Northern Quarter but I’m more than willing to step those ten metres further onto Ducie Street and into Cultureplex for the following reasons…

The building itself is impressive, but when you step inside you are really faced with the expanse of the project and just how alluring the space is brought to the centre by none other than Capital and Centric Property Developers.

Chatting to Pablo Flack, the man behind it all, he told me that the aim was to create a space where everyone can feel comfortable and use it as they need; a relaxed “culture hub” in which you can work during the week, take a break with coffee from Klatch, have a catch up with friends or dine in the restaurant throughout the evening.

The space has been designed to be free flowing and the interior gives a nod to the industrial past of the building, reflecting the parts of the warehouse which can be seen through the glass ceiling, but with design touches that make it feel cosy and a place you want to spend time in.

The huge windows at the far end of the space as well as the view through the ceiling, flood the building with light. The touches of greenery, which have been very carefully curated, help bring the outside in and create a beautiful mix between the industrial and the natural – the opposite of what you might expect from an old railway warehouse.

Cultureplex is host to several smaller event spaces which lend themselves to private parties, supper clubs, wine tasting, exhibitions, talks… I could go on. Each different space is separated by huge glass panels which enable you to see from one end of the building to the other but designed so each ‘layer’ and element to the warehouse can be seen, all of them slotting perfectly together to create one cohesive image which I can only relate to one of a modern day renaissance painting.

If you don’t know what I mean (which is likely) go and look for yourself, it’s impressive and just down right beautiful.

Round the corner sits a cinema room with 38 seats which, by the way, recline, complete with cocktail tables, need I say more? Events, screenings and shows will be taking place here are curated by the Cultureplex team and HOME so be sure to catch a little independent film when you’re done at the gym, maybe?

BLOK gym, who originated in Shoreditch, will be joining Ducie Street Warehouse as part of the project. They will be offering a series of classes throughout the week including ‘ballet fit’ and ‘blokparty’ which is intriguing to say the least.

Evenings are to lead by the cocktail bar and restaurant, BISTROTHEQUE, famed in London for incredible food and atmosphere, known to me because of their incredible Instagram.

However, Cultureplex creators Pablo and David are clear that they don’t want to bring London to Manchester, but want Manchester to take hold of the space, the gym, cinema, coffee shop, events spaces and the restaurant and use them as they wish, creating a brand new type of community space. Is Cultureplex the new nerve centre of the North?

I’m excited, are you?

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