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Ellis Williams replaces Mecanoo on Oldham Coliseum job

Ellis Williams will take over from Mecanoo on the project to build a new home for Oldham Coliseum Theatre and restore a neighbouring listed library to create a heritage and arts centre

Mecanoo was removed from the job in January, after scheme promoter Oldham Council rejected an offer from the practice to run it from Delft, following redundancies at its Manchester office.

Ellis Williams has now been appointed by the local authority to lead a team to take the £27 million job through the construction process.

Dominic Williams, director at the practice, said: ‘There is no change to the brief that Mecanoo were given. We are finalising building information and developing the interiors with the council at the moment.’

Other members of the team include structural engineer Curtins, M&E consultant Arup and cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald.

The council last summer approved Mecanoo’s plans for the new theatre, which is backed by a £7.1 million National Lottery-funded capital grant from Arts Council England.

It will be built on Southgate Street car park and feature a 550-seat auditorium, a 170-seat studio theatre, a café and an outdoor terrace.

The heritage and arts centre proposal for the Grade II-listed former Oldham Central Library was approved by the council last week.

It will see a central informal meeting area with retail space, a café and restaurant, a 120-seat lecture/theatre space and a first-floor gallery and exhibition space.

Oldham Coliseum by Mecanoo

Oldham Coliseum by Mecanoo

Source: Mecanoo

Mecanoo’s original 2014 scheme

Mecanoo won the job in November 2013, seeing off competition from Austin-Smith: Lord, Bennetts Associates, Haworth Tompkins, John McAslan + Partners, Levitt Bernstein and Purcell.  

Work had been expected to start on site early this year with completion originally scheduled for 2020. 

Readers' comments (1)

  • Geoff Williams

    It is noticed that ARUP is nominated for the M&E design. Safety in such prestige buildings, cannot and should not, be compromised. It is imperative that fire safety, in terms of electrical cables, is given a higher priority. The Fire Department in Hong Kong recently tested 12 cable manufacturers fire resistant cables against the fire standard and 9 failed prematurely. It is, therefore, essential that metal sheathed MI cables are specified for all fire protection services.

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