The Oval Partnership have successfully gained planning and Listed Building consent for a Hong Kong / UK joint venture developer to convert the Grade II listed cotton spinning mill into a wholesale mall and trade showroom.
Warwick Mill was constructed in 1907 in Middleton, a small town within the Greater Manchester borough of Rochdale. Built towards the end of the Victorian era it covers a vast area, being approximately 90m long by 43m deep. Each of the five main floors consists of open plan machine floors with a 6.5m x 4.5m column grid throughout.
The building is designed for Chinese manufacturers of interior design and construction-related products looking for a ‘shop window’ into the UK and wider European markets. Products on display will include tiles, lighting, furniture, kitchenware, sanitary ware and curtains. Greater Manchester is seen as an excellent springboard for Chinese exports growth. A second phase will see the construction of a new building alongside effectively doubling the floor space.
In addition the brief includes a range of restaurant, leisure, culture and entertainment facilities spread through the building. These are targeted at trade customers and tenants looking to entertain clients, inhabitants of Middleton and the wider public. The conversion will open up the existing building in a dramatic way, maximizing permeability and providing a strong visual connection back into the town promoting public access through the building to the attractive south-facing waterside of the mill.
The former engine room, with its remaining glazed wall tiling preserved, will be used for major product launches, events and other presentations, and also used in the evenings as a performance venue. In finer weather this could open out to the newly landscaped waterside. The surviving machinery would be preserved and made visible from public circulation with a new staircase opening up views into the dramatic five-story rope race together with interpretation material to explain the former operation of the mill.The sustainability strategy for the building centres on adaptive re-use. Warwick Mill has been largely empty for many years. The proposed new uses will not only bring fresh life and a secure long-term future to the building but also contribute significantly to the wider regeneration of the town. This is achieved with the minimum import of new materials and a light touch in terms of interventions into the historic built fabric.
The sustainability strategy for the building centres on adaptive re-use. Warwick Mill has been largely empty for many years. The proposed new uses will not only bring fresh life and a secure long-term future to the building but also contribute significantly to the wider regeneration of the town. This is achieved with the minimum import of new materials and a light touch in terms of interventions into the historic built fabric.
Conventionally this kind of trade show facility is housed in new, out-of-town buildings occupying space that might otherwise be given over to greenery or public open space. The strategy for Warwick Mill reinforces the importance of the local centre - the ‘pedestrian pocket’ in Christopher Alexander’s terminology - bringing renewed density and vibrancy to an otherwise overlooked suburb of outer Manchester that has seen better times but in fact has much to offer.
Client | -
Location | UK
Year | 2016
Size | -