Palace Court, Bolton.
Client: St. Vincents Housing Association
Contractor: Warden Builders Limited
Architect/Lead Consultant: Bradshaw Gass & Hope
Structural Engineers: Bradshaw Gass & Hope
Quantity Surveyors: Bradshaw Gass & Hope
Planning Supervisors: Bradshaw Gass & Hope
This development was commissioned by St. Vincent’s housing Association, and was, from the outset, intended to satisfy the needs of local artists in providing Live-Work accommodation that is inexpensive and yet commodious, with sufficient space for working from home. Bradshaw Gass and Hope provided all design consultancy services, working closely with the client, user groups and building contractors, to provide this successful and novel enterprise.
The accommodation comprises twelve one-bedroom flats, each with a workspace accessed from the living area, but screened for privacy when required, or convertible to visitor-sleeping when necessary. Two flats have mezzanine bed-decks and large balconies, and have separate work rooms with sinks, for the more expansive of uses. All other apartments incorporate ‘French balconies’ to living spaces.
The apartments are arranged over three floors, plus the mezzanine level, and are staggered over a difficult and sloping site, making the most of topography and views available. There is full lift access to all apartments, and a central access stairway affords plentiful wall space for exhibiting artwork. Internal communication and interaction between flats is already well established in a building that was only officially opened in November 2002.
All apartments are accessible by disabled persons, and can be converted for wheelchair use when required. Security is paramount, and the whole building conforms to Secure By Design, modified by Building Regulations requirements where statutory obligations apply.
The ethos of the building is one of encouragement of development of artists, and the tenants have already formed a collective, and are working on several schemes throughout the area. The perimeter garden walls and balcony railings incorporate some original and exiting metal designs by Tom Grimsey of London.