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Panter Hudspith wins Wedgwood Institute contest

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Panter Hudspith Architects has won a high-profile contest to overhaul the Grade II*-listed Wedgwood Institute in Stoke-on-Trent

The practice defeated Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Buttress Architects, Donald Insall Associates and Purcell to land the prestigious £570,000 contract.

Backed by the Princes Regeneration Trust and UK Historic Buildings Preservation Trust – the project will create a new enterprise centre inside the Burslem landmark which was built as a memorial to local industrialist Josiah Wedgwood.

Planned to complete in 2018, the scheme will refurbish the iconic structure, restore its main façade and potentially create a new floor space.

Between 20 and 25 businesses are expected to use the new facility, creating up to 150 jobs in the local area.

A new events and exhibitions space focussing on the Wedgwood Institute’s architectural history and the story of terracotta architecture worldwide will also be included.

Panter Hudspith partner Mark Panter said: ‘I am delighted that the practice has been given the opportunity to work on such an important and richly historic building.

‘The Wedgwood is a fine structure of national importance and our proposal for the building’s sensitive and holistic regeneration will ensure it has a sustainable future for generations to come.’

First opened in 1869 – the Venetian Gothic building was originally used to hold classes on science, business and the arts.

The building was later used by the Burslem School of Art, Staffordshire University and Stoke-on-Trent College before being transformed into a library which closed in 2008.

Designed by George Benjamin Nichols, Robert Edgar and John Lockwood Kipling – the façade was inspired by the Doge’s Palace in Venice and features a sculpture of Wedgwood and mosaics depicting the signs of the zodiac.

Conservation architects Caroe Architecture, structural engineer Alan Baxter and services engineer Hilson Moran Partnership also feature in the winning team.

Panter Hudspith’s scheme will feature in a public exhibition this summer ahead of a planning application being submitted to Stoke City Council later this year.

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