BDP’s restoration of mill building wins Georgian Group Architectural Award
Murrays’ Mills at Ancoats in Manchester won the Award for the ‘Restoration of a Georgian Building in an Urban Setting’ presented by The Rt. Hon. Lord Heseltine CH on behalf of the Georgian Group at Christie's in St James, London on Thursday 1 November 2007. The Georgian Group Architectural Awards recognise exemplary conservation and restoration projects in the United Kingdom and reward those who have shown the vision and commitment to restore Georgian buildings and landscapes.
Murrays’ Mills is the world’s earliest surviving urban steam powered cotton spinning factory. The 13,000 square metre complex was begun in 1797 and by 1805 had become the largest factory in the world. Powered by steam and lit by gas, it was visited by many people from Europe and North America as a wonder of the age. The buildings remained in textile production until the late 1950s from which time they declined in use and condition.
Detailed examination showed that the buildings had always been inherently weak. However, the site was considered to be of such significance that it was taken into public ownership. BDP was commissioned to lead a project which would repair the historic structure and fabric whilst making the restored shell suitable for modern use. The building was then to be offered on the open market for conversion to new uses.
Ken Moth, BDP architect director and design team leader said ‘We are delighted to have helped in rescuing this hugely significant mill complex which can now be used and enjoyed by future generations’.