Cottonopolis: cotton meets industry

The design concept of the Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange

The Royal Exchange in Manchester in the 19th century: market stalls, rolls of yarn and textiles as far as the eye can see. Two centuries ago, this is where spun yarn and manufactured cotton products were bought and sold. That’s why Manchester, the former centre of the international cotton and textile industry, used to also be known by the name of Cottonopolis.

The design concept of the Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange tells this story. Everything references cotton or the industrial processes used for the raw material. At the main entrance of the hotel, guests are greeted by steel arches and a printed linen wall, elements which capture the look of cotton plants. The ceiling lights in the reception area were designed by Arturo Alvarez, and make it seem as if tufts of cotton were floating towards you directly from the ceiling. The furniture in this area, manufactured by Baxter, has also been influenced by the gentle shape of cotton. 

The cotton theme, combined with industrial fittings, spins through the One Lounge like a thread. The lights above the bar are reminiscent of oversized spools, the delicate metal letters look like yarn and the historical sewing machines transport visitors to the Cottonopolis era. Room dividers filled with metal latticework showcase three organic paper sculptures made by northern English paper artist Andy Singleton. The artist, who was inspired by spools of wound yarn and fabrics, formed unique, pliable objects from a simple sheet of paper  – see the ‘making of’ video.

Another 3D paper wall installation made with pure cotton paper is situated above the traditional Chesterfield sofa. To create it, Singleton drew large-scale sketches that were then carefully cut out and assembled together. The final piece comprises 15 elements and shows the process of transforming cotton into finished yarn.

Have we piqued your interest? Visit us at the Motel One Manchester-Royal Exchange and experience Cottonopolis for yourself – book now.