A true Manchester institution, Victoria Baths is a Grade II* listed building that opened its doors in 1906 and has been cherished by the public ever since.
Although the pool doesn’t currently hold any water (though it will for two days in September) the iconic Victoria Baths is up there with the country’s most beautiful event spaces. Now home to beer festivals, cinema screenings and food pop-ups, the venue still retains many of its original features, including tiles from the 1900s – something that fuelled an idea for our client Tile Giant.
Our design team was tasked with creating a range of tiles that captured the heritage of the original ceramics. Working alongside a company called Verona that specialises in authentic crackled glaze, we came up with a collection that mirrors the unique aesthetics of the Baths. In return for the inspiration, a portion of the profit from every tile sold will go towards the restoration of the building.
Here, the project’s lead designer, Mel Holland, talks us through her considerations for each part of the creative process.
Each colour in the range was discovered at the Baths and features the characteristics of water and transparent qualities that create stunning depth and variation. For our versatile, contemporary range, we’ve included the addition of a fittings package that produces a traditional look, through adding extra detail, while defining and emphasising the collection’s key attributes.
The mouldings we designed were inspired by the embossed tiles at Victoria Baths, which have a classic scroll and more traditional décor. In response, we created a more commercial linear ribbed design in a 200x100 format that echoes the Baths’ rectangular tiles.
Hand-drawn swirls provide the illusion of craftsmanship, with the distressed seats in the spectator area influencing the field tile with edge detail echoing current trends.
A coordinating classic floor tile was inspired by a combination of traditional square concrete designs and wrought ironwork.
The building’s Terrazzo floors provided a wealth of inspiration and tied in perfectly with the current interior trend, which has been spotted from Milan to Clerkenwell and everywhere in between.