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The Dancehouse, Manchester


The Dancehouse on Oxford Road, is a grade II listed building in a prominent position in the heart of the MMU campus to the South of Manchester City Centre. Formally known as the Regal Twins Cinema, the building was listed in the latter part of the Twentieth Century.


The upper floors are currently occupied by the Northern Ballet School, whilst at street level there are a number of retail units. Following a number of years of insensitive alterations to the shopfronts our client asked us to draw up a design guide for future retail units. Our work involved lengthy negotiations with the City Council and the Conservation Officer to arrive at a design strategy that all parties could sign up to. Our design approach was to introduce contemporary glazing to the front facade in an effort to downplay the interventions. Apart from controlled projecting signs, all signage sits behind the glass to retain the clear lines of the shopfronts.


In the period since 2008 every one of the units has been upgraded. The resulting facade is far tidier, more homogenous and respectful of the listed building. These positive modifications will, no doubt, improve the residual value of the building whilst contributing to the catalogue of Manchester’s’ finest  heritage.


Client - PD properties

Heritage services provided by Atelier Heritage.

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