The Alchemist

SFS and Longworth realise Reid Architects’ golden vision for The Alchemist


Designed by Reid Architects, The Alchemist is an iconic bar and restaurant on the waterfront at Salford Quays, next to the world famous Lowry Centre. The building features a spectacular gold roof and walls, and a stunning terrace that cantilevers out over the canal.


Based on a single folded plate elevation which wraps the whole envelope, the building has a large proportion of sky-facing surface to ensure its visual quality from all viewpoints, including the surrounding high rise residences. The building is clad in gold zinc adding to its beacon-like prominence. At night, the low-level perimeter lighting gives the effect that the building is floating over the dock. The elevation facing the water is floor-to-ceiling glass. An external terrace projected out over the dock offers fantastic views across the waterfront to the Imperial War Museum.

SFS worked closely with Longworth to deliver this project. Known for their expertise in metal roofing, Longworth were commissioned to construct the building envelope and to realise Reid Architects' golden vision.

Powder-coated, high performance A4 (grade 316) stainless steel fasteners from SFS played a key role. Longworth's Ben Parker explains how fasteners were important to the overall design: "In order to colour coordinate the gold zinc panels, we requested support from SFS to ensure complete colour consistency on their fastener heads. We know we can rely on SFS's excellent product quality and their range of A4 (grade 316) fasteners means we can offer an extended life-cycle on the building envelope, a requirement which is now generally specified by all the leading architects. Additionally, SFS always provide excellent technical support throughout the design and construction phases of the project. With their longer warranties, we feel at ease with ensuring a sustainable, long-lasting build."

Project highlights

Living Ventures

Reid Architects

Main contractor
Artez Group



Powder-coated, A4 stainless steel fasteners

Project value

The Alchemist - Case Study.pdf​​​