Many buildings and sites in our towns and cities make a positive contribution to the local character due to their heritage value. Buildings are often in a state of decline and whilst they are sometimes offered levels of protection by local authorities, more often than not they continue to suffer.
Nearly 400,000 of the most important historic places in England are listed and there are over 5,000 buildings, structures and sites currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’. It is widely acknowledged that finding economic solutions for these assets is becoming increasingly difficult.
Old buildings often have strong original architecture, which is capable of being adapted to new uses, through creative remodelling or new insertions. Creative re-use also has renewed significance because of the carbon implications of retrofit rather than replacement.
MCAU has experience of preserving these heritage assets, working alongside local authorities and building owners, where existing uses have reduced or become redundant over time. We have actively brought forward the commercial repositioning of empty or deteriorating buildings, delivering reinvention through imaginative design solutions for changes of use.
A typical example is the reinvention of Ashton Old Baths, a Grade II* Listed former Victorian Swimming Pool, which now houses one of the most imaginative and creative business hubs in the country.