Chatham mill, a former cotton spinning mill dates from 1820. The building has been extensively altered over time with various extensions from 1823 to the 1970s. Multiple ownership conflicts and a lack of a coordination and co-operation, had led the campus to fall into a state of general disrepair and disorder despite its grade II listing. Our clients own just one floor which includes one of the historic loading bays and our brief was to re-imagine the space for offices for the ever growing creative sector in Manchester. Its location, close to the universities, was ideal to attract the right tenants and the proposal sought to create three distinct offices, accessed from the re-purposed former loading bay and via a glazed corridor to afford a new contemporary route to the rear spaces.
The philosophy was simple; to remove all the non-original suspended ceilings and partitions and open up the spaces in much the same way as they were originally conceived. We have created 3 distinct large spaces, each with its own original character and focused on the remaining historic elements: the wooden floors, steel columns and original window openings. Our approach was a “light touch”. We aimed to do the bare minimum of restoration works without any additional harm to the historic elements whilst ensuring that the offices were fit for purpose. Contemporary interventions are deliberately suspended or attached to the fabric and are clearly delineated. The fantastic original character of the spaces is now expressed once again.
All the spaces were pre-let prior to completion and the scheme is fully occupied.
Client - Span Group
Heritage services provided by Atelier Heritage.