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OMI Architects win lottery funding for church pods

[FIRST LOOK + PROJECT DATA] The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is to give £3.3 million to convert Bolton’s Grade II*-listed All Souls’ Church into a new community centre

Designed by Manchester-based OMI Architects, the scheme includes the removal of the existing pews and the insertion of two pods set either side of the church’s (built 1881) original aisle.

The new ‘folded’ structure will be clad in a combination of sandstone, polished plaster and ‘gold’ copper alloy.

Describing the scheme, a practice spokesman said: ‘The scale of this space allows for the insertion of new structures that are completely ‘free’ of the existing building envelope.

‘The form of the insertion has been deliberately manipulated to enhance the contrast between the new construction and the existing fabric of the church, in order to maintain a clear reading of the original volume.’

He added: ‘A circulation system of walkways threads its way through and around the objects enabling users to experience the existing building from a series of new vantage points.’

The church has been maintained since 1986 by The Churches Conservation Trust, which is led by Chairman, broadcaster and heritage campaigner, Loyd Grossman. The trust is working with a local community group, All Souls Compton Community Centre, on the project, which will eventually house meeting spaces, consultation rooms, conferences spaces, a library, exhibition space and classrooms.

Work on site is due in spring 2010 with completion expected at the end of 2011.


Project Data

Type Of Project: church conversion
Structural Engineers: Scott Hughes Design
Project Architect: OMI Architects (Nick Berry)
Conservation Architect: Alan Gardner Associates
Design Team: OMI/Scott Hughes/ Hoare Lea/ Youdan Briggs/ Alan Gardner Associates
Client: The Churches Conservation Trust
Funding: Heritage Lottery Fund
Tender date: Spring 2010
Start on site date: Mid 2010
Contract duration: 18 months
Gross internal floor area: 1,050m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: traditional
Total cost: £4.6million project cost
M&e consultant: Hoare Lea
Quantity surveyor: Youdan Briggs
Planning supervisor: PFB Consulting

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