An old printing works, this building dates from about 1760 and is one of the oldest building on Chapel Street the main thoroughfare into manchester from the north west of Manchester and Lancashire.
We bought the building in 1999 and it has become an architectural experiment into how to breath new life into redundant buildings. It had been pretty much abandoned by the previous owner who saw it as a liability. We saw the potential in a building with architectural character, in a location on the edge of Manchester and in an area with significant regeneration investment.
It is now home to a design studio for White Paper Games, a digital games company, International III, and their gallery bringing emerging artists to a wider audience an office for Architects Britch and finally a home for ourselves.
The project has taken 10 years to get to this stage, we have enjoyed the creative freedom to experiment, learning along the way and ultimately arriving at a sustainable creative ecology of small business in the heart of the Manchester. We believe the Chapel Street Project, an organic multi-functional approach to development to be a great model for other ‘redundant' buildings.
Architecture can make a difference both to people’s lives and the enjoyment of the built environment.
Competitions and teaching
Like teaching competitions allows us to explore our thinking and we have enjoyed collaborating on ideas with other architects, landscape architects and artists. the appeal is in working without the confines of day to day architecture.
We really enjoyed the Forgotten Space project in sheffield 1998 in which we received a commendation. It was a light hearted take on abandoned non-space under and around civil engineering infrastructures.
Other entires include the Wirksworth Pavilion of the arts festival and the Smokery for the Tatton Park Biennial.
Teaching has been a foundation of our practice allowing us time and space to develop the theories behind our designs. We enjoy the opportunity to reflect and question our work and test our ideas with young emerging architects. At Sheffield University David is currently running a studio in Third Year and Isabel teaches in First Year, both on the undergraduate course.