The Oglesby Centre
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
The Oglesby Centre is a contemporary extension to the Grade II listed deconsecrated St Peter’s Church, set amidst the rich industrial heritage of the Ancoats district in Manchester.
The extension includes rehearsal, performance, education and ancillary spaces for the Hallé Orchestra and Choir, complemented by a café space addressing the public realm. This stimulating building is conceived as a classically proportioned modernist metaphor of the existing listed building.
The form of the extension is ‘cut and carved’ out of the solid, maximising daylight into the building and creating visual links with the public square opposite. Influenced by the proportions of the golden rectangle and expressed as a robust handmade brick plinth at street level that cradles the first-floor rehearsal space.
Arranged over three stories the accommodation incorporates mixed-use, flexible and acoustically isolated spaces organised along clearly legible circulation routes. A restrained palette of materials was selected to complement the existing building and embody their own classicism. Roman format handmade bricks with contrasting dark grey lime
mortar joints are deeply raked to offer a contemporary interpretation of the existing masonry.
The main rehearsal space is expressed externally as a weathering steel box with articulated fins making historical reference to the water tanks synonymous with the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. The health and wellbeing of the buildings users and visitors were of paramount importance, informing the creation of calming spaces bathed with natural daylight, having direct visual connections to the surrounding public realm and contemplative spaces at the interface with the existing building where monolithic glazing offers views of the existing building and passing clouds.
The public spaces are multi-functional and feature community use shared spaces to encourage interaction, whilst other spaces are more intimate. The primary rehearsal spaces feature world class acoustic performance and a comforting material palette.
The Oglesby Centre is a serene and inspiring environment that aspires to enhance the wellbeing of all visitors and the final centrepiece of the neighbourhood’s redevelopment.
Hallé Concerts Society
Booth King Partnership
Design Fire Consultants
Approved Building Control Inspector
Butler & Young
Simon Fenton Partnership
Primary Use Class
Class D2 - Assembly and Leisure