A £38.5m phased redevelopment of a 1.82 ha site in central Stalybridge, providing a total of 222 new dwellings in various mixes, 1,380 m2 commercial space with 130% parking and new public provisions. The river Tame flows past the site to the north with a canal to the south. The listed old mill, known locally as 'The Bastille', is refurbished, and its ethos reinvigorated. 4 new buildings are inserted, and the environment regenerated.
Public squares, such as Trafalgar Square, derive character from the presence of the objects placed within them. This is explored with the creation of a new square the focus of which is three illuminated vertical corten tubes. These evoke the memory of chimneys which historically formed a significant part of this mill town's industrial landscape. Constructed as Aurelian harps, when wind blows down from the Peak District they can generate music.
Ground levels of buildings surrounding the square are isolated by a moat of water. This reinforces the reputation of Stalybridge as the Venice of the West Midlands whilst enhancing possible ground floor residential uses. Vestigial fragments of old buildings are retained as curtain walls enclosing new landscaping. Some facades are constructed as climbing walls to generate year round activity, for peak district climbers. This new quarter is carefully modeled to meld sympathetically into the existing town context. In association with ACQ Architects