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Northwich Cultural Centre : Cheshire Building

DLA Architecture Win Design Competition northwest England, UK

16 Apr 2009

Northwich Vision Cultural Centre

Winner Chosen in Northwich Vision Cultural Centre Competition

DLA Architecture has been chosen as the winners of the competition to design a new Cultural Centre in Northwich. Their scheme, ‘The Salt Market’ was chosen through a two stage competition which in the first stage attracted over 100 entries from architects all over the world.

Northwich Vision Cultural Centre Competition set entrants the challenge of coming up with design concepts for a new Cultural Centre that would provide a focus for community activity within mid Cheshire, providing a range of public activities including galleries, performance, dance, restaurant and tourist information. DLA’s scheme was selected as the judges’ preferred design at a final judging session which involved interviews and presentations with five shortlisted teams. This session was preceded by an extensive public consultation where the shortlisted schemes were displayed in Northwich Town Centre for public comment.

The DLA design takes its inspiration from the idea of a medieval meeting place, reinvented as a transparent and animated space where people can come together to meet, eat, drink, shop, relax, learn and be inspired. The judges were attracted to the mix of tradition and contemporary design and the opportunities for enhancing the streetscape of this part of the town.

DLA’s Chris Levett and Nigel Morris said, “We were keen to develop a scheme which really tied into the Council’s regeneration vision for Northwich, and are particularly interested in creating public buildings that blur the lines between culture and services – the idea that you could go and pay a council bill and end up seeing an exhibition and buying a theatre ticket makes this a true one-stop shop. The project is a fantastic opportunity to act as the catalyst for a new cultural quarter in Northwich”.

DLA’s team also includes Max Fordhams, Price & Myers, Davis Langston, AMPC and Soundspace Design.

Cllr Herbert Manley, Prosperity Portfolio Holder for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “The Cultural Centre is a key part of the Northwich Vision project to regenerate the town centre. As the new Council for this area, Cheshire West and Chester recognises the importance of the Cultural Centre as a focal point for the regeneration, and is delighted with the chosen design.”

The scheme has now been passed forward by Vale Royal Borough Council as part of its legacy to the new local authority of Cheshire West and Chester.

Northwich Vision Cultural Centre Competition information from RIBA


The Northwich Vision Cultural Centre
New Open Design Competition
11 Dec 2008

This new competition seeks architects with exceptional design skills to take part in a competition for the design of a new Cultural Centre to be located in the north west of England. The competition is being organised by the RIBA Competitions Office on behalf of the Northwich Regeneration Partnership, an informal partnership of eight leading public sector organisations.

The Centre will provide a focus for community activity and will be a key building that links together a number of important buildings within mid Cheshire, providing a range of public activities including galleries, performance, dance, restaurant, and tourist information. The competition promoters have aspirations for a design of the highest architectural quality that will help them deliver a coherent vision for their new building. Entrants will be expected to make the most of the attractive riverside setting located in the Baron’s Quay area of Northwich Town Centre.

Lead Councillor for Area Working and Regeneration, Cllr Arthur Wood, said: “The Cultural Centre will be an iconic building for Baron’s Quay and I will look forward to seeing the designs as they come in.”

The judging panel will be looking for designs which combine innovation and creativity with pragmatism and realism. The competition brief is available to download from the dedicated website for this competition from 15th December 2008.

The deadline for stage one designs is 10th February 2009.

Location: Northwich, Cheshire, England

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