Reigniting the momentum of Accrington’s industrial past. This intervention aims to bring back the old calico weaving and printing processes through an abstracted stack of industrial typologies. A brick chimney spiral staircase threads the shops, cafe, workshops, library, teaching spaces, auditorium and exhibition space together. Industrial typologies are stacked at angles to frame portraits of the old mills, ‘ghosts’.
Adaptive reuse reveals a structural frame which is used as a starting point for the cantilevers. Timber steel braced frames are hung from the load-bearing chimney. The structural components are exposed on the interior, revealing junctions between new and old, a reflection on its context. Recycled and locally sourced shingles form ‘coats’ around the typology’s skeletal frame, relating to their interior use.
The ‘transitional movement’ up through the typologies depicts a story of craft and heritage, from its starting mechanical beginnings to the final celebration. ‘Amongst the mills’ is a sculptural signpost of Accrington’s forgotten prime.