Robertson construction refurbishment of arches in Manchester

HOME Arches conversation, Manchester


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Community facilities
Manchester City Council
May 2024
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Transforming a trio of railway arches into a talent development centre for Manchester City Council

Our HOME Arches project will transform three heritage railway arches into a talent development centre for artists of all ages, disciplines, and stages of their careers.

Located between the impressive HOME main arts centre building and Whitworth Street West, in the heart of Manchester City Centre, the three interconnected and fully accessible spaces will become a cultural landmark for creativity and artistic expression.

A HOME for artists in Manchester City Centre

With five cinema screens, two theatres and an art gallery, HOME is an open and social space for the city's communities, celebrating local and international artists and their work.

Alongside their arts programme they have some of the best social spaces in Manchester, encompassing a café, bar, roof terrace, restaurant, and cinema bar.

Our HOME Arches project will perfectly complement their ambition to "push the boundaries of form and technology [and] to experiment", with this new and exciting space that will help nurture, attract, and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing high-quality, low-cost rehearsal and training space.

Arch 1 will be transformed into a flexible workspace for work with young people. Large enough to host up to 25 young people and a facilitator at any one time, youngsters will have the chance to work with a variety of artistic forms.

The second arch connects the other two and will serve as the main entrance and office space for artists being supported by HOME. The arch will also be the entrance point to arches 1 and 2.

Arch 3 will become a making and sharing space for artists. This will be a double height space with full black-out capacity, creating a versatile space for projects of different scales and disciplines.

Railway construction expertise

HOME Arches is the first project we have delivered for Manchester City Council and our capability of redeveloping railway arches and working within the rail sector was considered vital by our customer.

We have extensive experience of working in this environment, having delivered many projects near to and on railway.

Almost every single member of our team has experience in delivering similar projects within railway arches within the city or further afield in the UK, and each has a strong understanding of the sensitivities and additional considerations required when working in the vicinity of the rail network and the arches.

Our team, often in conversation with Network Rail, has delivered remedial and improvement works on over 30 projects, creating safe and dry environments which allow our customers' visions to be realised.

Building on the past to contribute to the future

The sympathetic treatment of these heritage assets will allow development of this exciting and dynamic new space.

Working together with the HOME Arches team, we bring project experience of retaining heritage features and blending in new technology to make the space fit to house modern activities in a healthy, dynamic, and history-rich environment.

These disciplines include heritage brick work, efficient glazing, and designing for natural and installed lighting to enhance the space, user experience, and add atmosphere.