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Competition: Bradford Odeon

Bradford Live by Tim Ronalds Architects
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Bradford Live is recruiting an architect to deliver a £15 million restoration of Bradford’s decaying 1930 Odeon cinema

The winning practice will work with the not-for-profit charity to transform the abandoned Renaissance revival cinema into a 4,000-capacity music venue, developing the scheme from RIBA Stage 3 forward. 

The Bradford Live project aims to fully restore the building’s main auditorium, 800-capacity ballroom and restaurant wing. It comes five years after the landmark building was almost flattened to make way for a Carey Jones Architects-designed office development. A redevelopment bid featuring Tim Ronalds Architects was chosen in 2014 and the practice is currently developing RIBA Stage 2 designs for the scheme in consultation with the building’s future operator NEC.

In its brief, Bradford Live says it wants to restore the main auditorium to its original size and shape. ‘The well-preserved ballroom and restaurant wing will be restored back to its original state,’ it says. ‘Other areas of the building will also, for the most part, be put back to their original forms. The entire building will be served by new acoustic, electrical, heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and fire control systems.

‘Due to programme constraints, delivery of RIBA Stage 2 design will be fulfilled in parallel with a set of current interim consultancy appointments, alongside the input and integration of the appointed operator. This parallel design process will in effect frame the foundation of the project, its key, primary and principal requirements as well as pre-app planning progression; suitably advanced enough for the engagement of those successfully to proceed immediately thereafter.’

Bradford Odeon was designed by William Illingworth and first opened in 1930 and occupies a prominent site on Godwin Street overlooking Arup’s £24.4 million City Park water feature.

The Renaissance-revival complex was one of the largest cinemas in the country when it opened but was converted into a bingo hall and three smaller cinemas in 1969 before closing at the turn of the Millennium.

The building was due to be demolished as part of a competition-winning £35 million commercial scheme by Carey Jones. This won planning in 2009 but was abandoned three years later. The latest project, backed by businessman Lee Craven, aims to restore the building as a new music, events and conference venue.

Tim Ronalds Architects’ Bradford Live restoration vision was chosen following a competitive bidding process which attracted rival offers drawn up by Halliday Clark Architects, Rance Booth Smith, and Rex Procter Partners.

The deadline for applications is midday, 2 February.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Chris Hill
Bradford Live
Cross Lane Mills
Cross Lane

Tel: +44 7949291517
Email: tenders@novuspm.ltd

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