Winner Chosen in Northwich Vision Cultural Centre Competition
DLA Architecture has been chosen as the winners of the competition to design a new Cultural Centre in Northwich. Their scheme, 'The Salt Market' was chosen through a two stage competition which in the first stage attracted over 100 entries from architects all over the world.
The competition set entrants the challenge of coming up with design concepts for a new Cultural Centre that would provide a focus for community activity within mid Cheshire, providing a range of public activities including galleries, performance, dance, restaurant and tourist information. DLA's scheme was selected as the judges' preferred design at a final judging session which involved interviews and presentations with five shortlisted teams. This session was preceded by an extensive public consultation where the shortlisted schemes were displayed in Northwich Town Centre for public comment.
The DLA design takes its inspiration from the idea of a medieval meeting place, reinvented as a transparent and animated space where people can come together to meet, eat, drink, shop, relax, learn and be inspired. The judges were attracted to the mix of tradition and contemporary design and the opportunities for enhancing the streetscape of this part of the town.
DLA's Chris Levett and Nigel Morris said, "We were keen to develop a scheme which really tied into the Council's regeneration vision for Northwich, and are particularly interested in creating public buildings that blur the lines between culture and services – the idea that you could go and pay a council bill and end up seeing an exhibition and buying a theatre ticket makes this a true one-stop shop. The project is a fantastic opportunity to act as the catalyst for a new cultural quarter in Northwich".
DLA's team also includes Max Fordhams, Price & Myers, Davis Langston, AMPC and Soundspace Design.
Cllr Herbert Manley, Prosperity Portfolio Holder for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "The Cultural Centre is a key part of the Northwich Vision project to regenerate the town centre. As the new Council for this area, Cheshire West and Chester recognises the importance of the Cultural Centre as a focal point for the regeneration, and is delighted with the chosen design."
The scheme has now been passed forward by Vale Royal Borough Council as part of its legacy to the new local authority of Cheshire West and Chester.