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Stephenson Studio wins Hallé expansion job

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The competition to expand the Hallé St Peter’s music studio and performance hall in Ancoats, Manchester has been won by Stephenson Studio

The Manchester-based practice headed by Roger Stephenson saw off competition from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS), Caruso St John, Flanagan Lawrence and Jamie Fobert Architects to win the RIBA-run contest.

The 1,450m2  extension to the 1859 Grade II-listed church - which was abandoned and deconsecrated before being restored by Buttress Architects in 2013 - will provide rehearsal, performance and education spaces for the Hallé orchestra.

According to the judging panel, which included RIBA client advisor Jeremy Dixon and architect Niall McLaughlin, Stephenson Studio’s scheme ‘provided a noteworthy addition to the architectural heritage of the former cotton mill area of the city’.

Jeremy Dixon, added: ‘The submissions were of a very high standard, particularly with respect to the care in making presentations and the attention to the requirements of the Hallé.

’It made the experience of seeing the work and hearing the architects’ descriptions a real pleasure. Indeed, as with a generally high standard, it becomes difficult to make a final choice. The Panel selected Stephenson Studio for the elegance of their proposal and their engagement with the requirements of the Hallé. We can look forward with confidence to a building that properly represents the importance of the Hallé to the city of Manchester.’

More than 40 expressions of interest were received from practices based in the UK and Europe.

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