‘Made in Accrington’

Accrington has a rich history of making and manufacturing, over recent years and especially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the town has declined with many small businesses closing down and the high streets becoming less and less populated.

The project looks at reconnecting the historic high streets of Blackburn Road and Broadway and how they can be rejuvenated by the concept of an arts and crafts centre, a focus of the atelier is that we consider architecture as a whole through the people we design for and the nature of the urban environment we work in. Our site was surrounded by two historic buildings, Accrington Town Hall (Grade II*) and Accrington Market Hall (Grade II) meaning that the interventions would have to be carefully considered and respectful to the surrounding architectural context.

From a sustainability standpoint, the partly disused 1960’s town hall extension’s steel frame is being refurbished and reused to house the artist’s studios and apartments whilst being reclad in brick to compliment Accrington’s vernacular. The new build section is constructed from an LVL timber frame and CLT floor and roof panels ensure that when the building reaches the end of its useful life, it can be disassembled and the materials recycled or reused within the circular economy for use in other projects; an important consideration I take when designing. I am interested in the craft of architecture and how contemporary design and materials can be used to embellish buildings already standing.