Mecanoo, in partnership with Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture, have been appointed by Oldham Council to design the scheme for the new Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre, a project jointly funded by the Local Authority, Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund.
The proposed scheme involves the refurbishment of the former Grade II-listed Oldham Library and Art Gallery building on Union Street and the construction of a new theatre on the adjoining Southgate Street car park site. The complex will include two auditoria of 600 and 250 seats with state of the art facilities; galleries; archives; public research rooms, foyers, bars and meeting spaces.
The finished project will significantly improve the cultural offer of Oldham town centre and support its wider regeneration. It will also be located at a prominent town centre gateway adjacent to the forthcoming Metrolink line, which opens next year and connects Oldham to Manchester where Mecanoo has a local office.
Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “The appointment of Mecanoo is a huge step in realising our vision of delivering a new Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre in heart of the Town Centre. They have a proven track record in designing outstanding and eye-catching buildings and I’m sure they will produce a design that reflects our proud past but also looks forward to the future.”
Kevin Shaw, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Coliseum, added: “We are very excited to be working with an architect with an enviable international reputation and with Oldham Council to deliver this landmark project.”
The remaining design team for the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre is still in the process of being assembled and will be completed by end 2013. Construction is due to start in 2016 subject to the confirmation of funding from the Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund.