Warehaus Ancoats, Manchester
Warehaus Ancoats is located within the conservation area of Ancoats and consists of the restoration and conversion of the existing warehouse and the creation of two new residential buildings enclosing a central landscaped courtyard which provides communal amenity space for residents.
Although the 4-storey existing building is not listed, the Civic Engineers structural engineers and heritage building experts gave careful consideration to the existing building structure to ensure the heritage of the site within the historically important Ancoats conservation area is retained. At the feasibility and concept design stages our engineers and heritage buildings experts worked closely with the developer and OMI Architects with a view to creating a high quality of urban design. We carefully assessed the condition of the structure and formulated stabilisation and remedial proposals to protect the structure and ensure its suitability for change of use to residential.
Throughout the building, the existing timber floors, beams and supporting cast iron columns were subtly strengthened to accommodate the change in use and subsequent increase in load whilst maintaining the exposed structure that characterises the 19th century warehouses of the area. We utilised steel flitch plate techniques to strengthen the existing floor beams where required.
The primary structure comprised a central line of cast iron columns, some of which had been removed during previous building alterations. In order to reinstate the full integrity of the original structural form, we replaced the missing columns with new square hollow section columns rather than circular sections, as these could be more readily incorporated into the new internal wall structures.
In the roof structure, many of the timbers were decayed and damaged due to water ingress over a long period of time. The roof purlins and roofing battens were mostly replaced with new timbers, but we were able to retain the original historical timber trusses. However many of these were out of plumb and required to be reset as part of the refurbishment. This was achieved by designing a propping and jacking operation to realign and reset all the roof trusses and ensure the future structural performance of the roof.
This project was complete in Spring 2019.