Handmade linear bricks complete cutting-edge Hallé Orchestra extension

6 May 2022 - News

Thirty-three different types of specially-shaped linear handmade bricks were created to complete a three-storey extension to the renowned Hallé St Peter’s building in the Ancoats area of central Manchester.

Working closely with architects Stephenson STUDIO – who won an international RIBA competition to design the extension – Imperial Bricks produced a bespoke linear brick to ensure ‘The Oglesby Centre’ complements the original Grade II listed building.

The new ‘Regal Blend’ features a special combination of multi and weathered linear handmade bricks with natural shade variations of red to orange.

Since its conversion from a 19th Century church in 2013, the famous Hallé Orchestra has used St Peters for rehearsals, recording, and small performances. However, the space was too small to accommodate the building’s many different users, including the Hallé choirs and youth orchestra – as well as its role as a private hire venue.

The Oglesby Centre extension takes the form of a steel structure, echoing the shape of the old water tanks used in the area’s many former mills, supported on a brick plinth.

The £4.7 million project echoes the industrial past of the area, complementing the original building, while making a bold statement with its angular design. The result is a stunning addition to the revitalised area.

This project has been shortlisted in the North West RIBA Regional Awards 2020.

View full project details…

The brick tones are a match for all the warm red brick so evident in Ancoats. Much modern brickwork in the city gets the shade wrong. Look at the old warehouses and factories and the Manchester brick was always a gentle orange rather than a fierce red. At Hallé St. Peter’s the transition between the old brick and the new work is seamless.

Jonathan Schofield, writing in Confidentials.com/Manchester.