The first building to win the RIBA Stirling Prize – Hodder Associates’ Centenary Building for the University of Salford – could be converted into a new primary school
The plans for the currently empty 23-year-old building form part of 5plus Architects’ emerging 99ha development framework for the university’s existing campus and surrounding area.
The Hodder block was completed in 1995 and won the first RIBA Stirling Prize the following year. It was originally designed to be the School of Electrical Engineering before its change of use, during construction, to the Faculty of Art and Design Technology.
The building sits within the proposed Adelphi Development Zone, one of five new zones in 5plus’s wider proposals. If built out, the Adelphi zone would create about 320 new homes in the north-eastern corner of the huge University of Salford and Crescent masterplan.
According to a consultation document prepared for project backers Salford City Council and the University of Salford, the four-storey Centenary Building has been earmarked to be converted into a two-form entry primary school.
Hodder 5plus bottom right
5plus Architects director Tony Skipper told the AJ that the building, which ’had suffered over the years’, would make an ideal school and that demolition had never been seriously considered.
Skipper said: ’The original design was conceived as a street design with seminar spaces and workshops off a central spine - so a school is a reasonable fit.. We’d imagine the lower yeargroups occupying the ground level with juniors on the upper levels.’
He added: ’While most primary school typologies are one or two storey’s, there are examples are successful ‘vertical’ schools like BDP’s Hampden Gurney Primary which completed in 2002 and operated in a city centre location over multiple levels.’
Architect Stephen Hodder, who is a visiting professor at the University of Salford, said he welcomed the proposals and had been ‘kept in the loop’ by 5plus as the masterplan designs progressed.
He said: ’It’s a wonderful and imaginative idea and I believe the building will convert quite easily. I intend to offer our advice once the proposal is more advanced. We retain all the drawings in our archive.’
5plus’s concept plans are subject to future funding decisions, with the university and council hoping to appoint a private delivery partner, or series of partners, in Spring 2019.
Publc consultation on the masterplan close on Monday (3 September).
Eddy Rhead, co-founder of the Manchester Modernist Society
’The Society is obviously optimistic that The Centenary Building can find a useful, new role. Not only were we worried that a quality piece of modern architecture was to be lost but dismayed that such a young building was to be demolished and the questions that raises about sustainability and wastefulness. That it is, potentially, to become a primary school, thus benefiting the wider community, is also to be welcomed.’
Hodder centenary on 5plus masterplan trim
See the Centenary Building in the AJ Buildings Library
Hodder centenary internal