Project Director with Pringle Richards Sharratt Ltd.
The Gallery is a catalyst for the regeneration of Oldham around existing and new cultural institutions. These institutions act as a locus for the regeneration of the town around a new civic space. The site was an abandoned gasworks and required significant remediation as well as the grouting up of old mine workings below ground.
The building has a heavy concrete and steel structure that provide a large thermal mass. This stabilises the environment in the galleries allowing for a reduction in mechanical conditioning and optimising sustainability. Subsequent phases of this project delivered a new library and life-long learning centre in 2006.
Oldham was ethnically divided and the gallery and lifelong learning centre were specifically intended to bridge the divide through the shared space of culture and learning. In addition to displaying the permanent collection and innovative temporary exhibitions, the gallery acts as a centre for an ambitious outreach program across very diverse communities. The building won an RIBA award in 2003 and a Civic Trust award in 2004.
We invited a number of artists to collaborate on the design of elements of the building so that mundane things like taking the lift became immersive artistic experiences.