The modest single storey building, built in the 1870s as part of the largest children’s hospital in Manchester, was occupied by a children’s nursery when the site was sold and developed to allow for nearly 300 homes. The only two remaining historic buildings left being the main hospital and this lodge, which was primarily used as a gate house. Over the years the small masonry structure has been extended without much regard for its architectural qualities or the integrity of its form.
Due to the success of the nursery, as well as the wider issues generally regarding care, the client has decided to extend and remodel. EBBA were commissioned after an invited competitive process to add a significant extension to provide much needed space for teaching and the staff.
Dealing with an existing building and the challenges of its previous transformations set the limitations and its opportunities. The original architecture is humble and unpretentious, apart from two of its sides that have tried to present a mature elevation onto the street. Both have projecting bays with modestly decorated stone lines and arched windows in brick that give it character. The form of the new massing is a playful attempt at tying the project to the character of the site, one dominated by the detached houses and steep pitched roofs. The shape of the plan is defined by the perimeter of the building, while in places it steps back to respect the prominence of the windows bays of the existing structure. The extension is a contemporary addition that will complement the whole while tying it in to the surrounding context.
Spatially the plan offers a new large teaching space for early years learners, staggered as three rooms within a room, each one incrementally getting larger. The tall ceilings rise with the pitch of the roof and are lined in white-washed boards between exposed joists.
The project received Planning in 2017 and is awaiting to start on site in Autumn 2018.