AN EVOLUTION THROUGH THE LENS OF THE PAST
This proposal seeks to revive, preserve, and restore the historic fabric of Accrington’s town centre by revitalising its cultural roots as a centre for craft and production. The scheme aligns with existing projects by the Town Council, which aim to improve the town scape through the restoration of historic buildings. The proposed concept will further this scheme, with the creation of a craft centre, focused on the preservation of built heritage, to allow Accrington to capitalise on its future through the memory of its past. The programme will act as a hub for Accrington and the region, accommodating historic crafts, people, and artisans, required for the conservation of heritage, as well as facilitate spaces to educate and archive. In this way, the centre will aim to inspire active community engagement through access to educational opportunities, incorporation of public green spaces, a library, cafes, and retail opportunities.
The proposal attempts to link this narrative to the project’s formal qualities. Encouraged by the Continuity in Architecture atelier position, contextually driven strategies attempt to aesthetically ground the contemporary design among its heritage listed neighbours, a concept that is further consolidated by the adaptation of specific design elements and ornamentations from the surrounding building typologies. The adaptive reuse of the 1960’s Town Hall extension, as well as the use of materials such as reclaimed steel, sandstone and locally available timber work to reduce construction emissions. Thus, the fabric synthesises past and future by creating a space that echoes the town heritage while also considering its continuity.