Telling Tales out of School
The Old School House in the Bradshaw Chapel Conservation Area of Bolton is a striking example of breathing new life into a neglected location. When its original function as a school ended in 1966, the building went through a series of incarnations- Dave’s Aquarium, a Beefeater restaurant and then sadly, once abandoned, a haven for vandals, fire setters and fly tippers.
Purchased by Panda Capital in 2017, plans were then set in motion to turn the site into a residential development. Conserve and enhance were Nick Moss Architects’ watchwords when embarking on this bespoke project. Nestling in an established natural environment complete with mature trees and its own fishing pond, the original 19th Century building has been converted into a mix of 14 bespoke duplexes and first-rate apartments, all for the private rental market.
Sympathetic to its original form, the exterior of the older building has enjoyed minimal interventions, with lengthened windows, balconies and rooflights; a model of augmenting rather than meddling. Whilst the new build makes reference to and is entirely in keeping with the Old School House and adjacent terraced homes, it appears as a distinctive element and now it’s completed, has set a new standard for rental value in the area. A considered and genial blend of old and new where beauty, practicality, nature and heritage are seamlessly combined has made the Old School House an attractive prospect.
Everything about this development, whether within or without has been informed by quality and elegance, ensuring that the Old School House can once again take its place as a welcome local landmark.
Practice owner Nick Moss said, ‘It’s been a privilege to work on such a meaningful project and produce a scheme that’s appealing, modern and highly sustainable but entirely compatible with much-loved existing buildings.’