OMI Architects

OMI Architects has been around since 1993 and the firm is one of the leading design-led practices in the North West. Architect Directors, McCall, James, Berry and O’Dwyer head up the practice’s 16 strong team of architects and graduates, all of whom are based in the former ‘Manchester Baths’, a RIBA Award-winning conversion of a Victorian swimming pool, where OMI has created a number of studios for the creative industries.

After only a few years in practice, OMI featured in the Architecture Foundation’s Publication ‘New Architects – A Guide to Britain’s Best Young Architectural Practices’. OMI has gone on to attract critical acclaim, with much of its work published in the architectural press. The quality of its work has also been recognised with a series of awards for design excellence including 11 national and regional RIBA Awards. OMI is known for a broad range of work including residential, museums and galleries, offices, churches, education, hotels, leisure, community and public buildings, many of which are within sensitive historic settings. In addition to its architecture output, the practice undertakes Feasibility Studies, Masterplanning, Interior Architecture, Design Guides, Graphics and Community Consultation.

The residential work ranges from large-scale city centre apartment schemes to affordable housing in some of the region’s most challenging communities. OMI has also developed expertise in specialist care provision for adults with complex needs. At Hulme, in Manchester, OMI were amongst the first architects to apply dense urban planning strategies to large-scale affordable inner-city residential schemes. Design principles were established at Hulme that have since become recognised as basic good practice for urban residential development throughout the UK. To date, OMI has built nearly 4000 homes and its recently completed Manchester apartment schemes at Greengate, Alto and Wilburn Wharf are now making their mark on the City’s skyline.

OMI cut its teeth on radical conversions of some of Manchester’s most important redundant heritage assets including Duke’s 92 and the Peoples History Museum. OMI has since moved on to complex heritage schemes involving some of the region’s most important Grade I and Grade II* Listed buildings, including All Souls, Bolton, which was named as RICS North West Building of the year in 2015. OMI’s projects have attracted nearly £30m in funding from public bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

When working with existing buildings, OMI achieve harmony and balance between the new and the old, injecting life into what are often tired structures that have lost their way. OMI combine a real sense of interaction, delight and fun, whilst still respecting the dignity of the buildings and places that they engage with.

In all its work OMI seek out the ingredients that make the difference between a successful building or place that has spirit and life and one that suffers from being soulless and alien to the people that use it.

2018
BCO Awards - Refurbished/Recycled Workplace
Shortlisted
2017
Lincoln Good Design Outstanding Project Award
Winner
Lincoln Good Design Best Commercial Project Award
Winner
Insider Urban Residential and PRS Development of the Year
Winner
OMI Architects
Insider Architect of the Year
Shortlisted
2016
Phil O'Dwyer
Manchester Society of Architects Fellowship Award
Winner
2015
Civic Voice Conservation Award
Winner
RICS North West Project of the Year
Winner
RICS North West Community Award
Winner
RICS North West Design Through Innovation Award
Winner
RICS North West Conservation Award
Winner
Manchester Society of Architects Client Legacy Award
Winner
Civic Trust Regional Award
Winner
Architects' Journal Retrofit Award
Shortlisted
National Churches Trust Award
Shortlisted
Civic Trust Award
Shortlisted
RIBA North West Award
Shortlisted
Manchester Society of Architects Built Residential Scheme Award
Winner
RIBA Wales Award
Shortlisted
2014
Civic Trust Award
Commendation
BALI National Landscape Restoration & Regeneration Awards
Winner
Manchester Society of Architects Conservation Award
Winner
2013
RIBA North West Award
Winner
Manchester Society of Architects Award
Winner
Housing Design Award
Winner
RIBA East Midlands Award
Shortlisted
2012
First Time Buyer Magazine Best Small Development Award
Winner
Bridge of Discovery - Architects' Journal Small Projects
Commendation
2011
RIBA Award
Winner
2010
RIBA Regional Award
Winner
RIBA East Midlands Low Carbon Award
Winner
Manchester Society of Architects Award
Winner
CABE Building for Life
Gold Standard
Manchester Society of Architects Award
Winner
2009
Manchester Evening News Property Awards Best Apartment of the Year
Winner
2007
Housing Design Award
Winner
2005
RIBA Award
Winner
2004
RIBA Inclusive Design Award
Shortlisted
British Council for Offices Award
Winner
2003
RIBA Award
Winner
RIBA White Rose Design Award
Winner
Roses Design Award
Winner
Manchester Society of Architects Award
Winner
2001
Roses Design Awards
Commendation
Manchester Society of Architects Award
Winner
2000
Civic Trust Awards
Mention
Manchester Society of Architects Award
Winner
1999
1998
RIBA Award
Winner
1995
RIBA Housing Design Award
Winner
1994
RIBA Housing Design Award
Winner
OMI Architects

Jay Mistry

Architect

VCard

Phil O'Dwyer

Consultant

VCard

Adam Gray

Senior Associate Architect

VCard

Erin Towsley

Architect

VCard

Andy James

Director

VCard

Sally Davis

Admin

VCard

Dave McCall

Director

VCard

Stuart McGrath

Associate Architect

VCard

Aaron Coey

Associate Architect, Graphics & Communications

VCard

Philip Etchells

Architect

VCard

Nick Berry

Director

VCard

Heather Davis

Office Manager

VCard

Flora Hodson

Designer

VCard

Jonathan Woodward

Architect

VCard

Chris Wells

Part II Architectural Assistant

VCard

Kathryn Valentine

Architect

VCard

Finn Reece-Thomas

Part I Architectural Assistant

VCard

Hannah Cruickshank

Part I Architectural Assistant

VCard

Scott Chenery

Architect

VCard
The Old Library

NEW IMAGERY

Our Old Library project will see the Grade II listed Andrew Carnegie Library in the Tuebrook area of Liverpool transformed into a new community hub offering childcare, rentable meeting space, hot desking, heritage activities, an events venue and a wide range of training and volunteering opportunities for local people.

OMI are working with Liverpool City Council and Lister Steps to realise the £3M Heritage Lottery Fund supported project. The project is due to start on site in December 2018.

Wilburn

BRICK AWARDS 2019

Wilburn Basin has been shortlisted in the ‘Large Scale Residential’ category in the 2019 Brick Development Association Awards. The project is the only housing development project of any scale to be shortlisted in the North East of England.

The materials selected for the scheme have been influenced by the site’s quayside heritage and the desire to create connections to the context of the neighbouring historic brick viaducts, bridges and the Grade 1 listed Liverpool Road Station across the river Irwell.

Key to the success of these connections is brick selection, elevational arrangement and detailing. A relationship between all the blocks is maintained whilst adopting a hierarchy of proportion and scale. The aim has been to convey a family of buildings that are well built, well proportioned and exude solidity, permanence and integrity.

More detail on the project can be found in the ‘Work’ section.

Winning schemes will be announced in November 2018.

FIRST GLIMPSE

Our apartment buildings at Baker Place for One Manchester are beginning to appear from behind the site hoarding.

The site sits in the Hulme area of Manchester, to the South Western edge of the city, and approximately one mile from the city centre. To the east of the site sits the edges of the ‘Hulme City Challenge’ neighbourhood, promoted in the 1990s by Michael Hessletine in response to the demolition of the 1960s system built estate that previously occupied this area. OMI played a significant role in bringing family housing back to Hulme as part of City Challenge and many of the design principles established by OMI back then have since become best practice for urban masterplanning.

The development consists of a total of 67no. 2 bedroom apartments arranged around a communal landscaped courtyard and parking area. The accommodation is split into three individual blocks of 4 and 3 storeys, with a main development concierge entrance at the base of block one.

The project has protected and retained a high number of mature trees, which form a great backdrop to the new development.

HERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDING APPROVED

Plans to redevelop Rochdale’s Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum are moving ahead as the National Lottery has now approved a £1.7m grant to transform the space.

The success of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid, means the museum, which is currently located in a workshop in the grounds of Rochdale’s old fire station in Maclure Road, can now move into the fire station itself, a 1930s art deco building, which will be restored and turned into a major visitor attraction.

The proposals include an exhibition space, new café and education centre with the council also looking to create office space in the building to support small businesses, in a move which could create 100 jobs and be worth £40m to the local economy over the next ten years.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “I’m very pleased to support the development of this fantastic project in Rochdale. The revitalised Rochdale Fire Station will breathe new life into this important town centre gateway and be a catalyst, along with other projects like the Heritage Action Zone, for the borough’s on-going regeneration and development.”

EGERTON VILLAGE SUBMITTED FOR PLANNING

Our arts and retail space Egerton Village at Wirral Waters is in for planning.

The ‘Village’ features a dockside restaurant, gallery, artists’ studios, workspace, retail, and events space.
Richard Mawdsley, director of development at Peel Land & Property, said: “Our plans for Egerton Village focus on providing the facilities which lie at the heart of a thriving community. It is designed to serve new and existing residents, students and local businesses as well as visitors.”

Modular construction techniques are to be employed and Peel will work with the nearby college to provide apprenticeship opportunities throughout the build.

GREATER MANCHESTER FIRE SERVICE MUSEUM GETS PLANNING APPROVAL

Our plans for the Greater Manchester Fire Service (GMFS) Museum, Rochdale have been approved by Rochdale Borough Council.

The project will provide a permanent new home for the impressive collection of fire service memorabilia within the Malcure Road Fire Station. The reworked building will allow for the expansion and development of the museum whilst also securing the long-term future of the building, which has been vacant since 2014 and has fallen into minor disrepair.

The GMFS Museum has been open since 1983, staffed entirely by a team of volunteers from within the fire service. The current home of the exhibition is within an old maintenance workshop, across the yard from the fire station. The proposed scheme will create an outward and forward looking museum which will make the best use of the historic building whilst interpreting the varied collection.

Mustard Tree

MUSTARD TREE

Mustard Tree is a charitable trust based in Manchester, which has transformed the lives of people who are trapped in poverty or homelessness, by enabling them to gain the skills and self-confidence they need to reach their full potential.

Their headquarters on Oldham Road were in need of a significant update in order to meet the needs and future aspirations of the Mustard Tree.

OMI were appointed and proposed the key to unlocking the building’s future potential was a series of bold interventions that focus on how people enter and circulate, as well as the general reworking and upgrading of the existing accommodation.

In providing a clear horizontal and vertical circulation strategy, the building has been transformed into a vibrant, welcoming place. From the entrance lobby visitors can directly access the shop, a large flexible ground floor room, first floor break out space, offices and art/performance space.

Wellington Rooms Ballroom

WELLINGTON ROOMS, LIVERPOOL

It was a busy consultation event on the 21st of March to showcase our initial thoughts on the future of the Wellington Rooms, a Grade II* listed former assembly rooms building in Liverpool.

There were a variety of options on display with a developed preferred option of an Innovation and Enterprise hub, to provide commercial uses focused upon smaller business operators and to provide a link between the existing Science Park, University and other Knowledge Quarter uses.

This involves providing an entrance/exhibition area, with a business hub and café and a rear multi-function event space in the Ballroom. To the upper floor the accommodation provides a multipurpose function/meeting room with a second floor providing additional cellular offices.

GREATER MANCHESTER FIRE SERVICE MUSEUM SUBMITTED FOR HLF STAGE 2 FUNDING

Our plans for the Greater Manchester Fire Service (GMFS) Museum, Rochdale have been submitted for Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF).

The proposal will provide a permanent new home for the impressive collection of fire service memorabilia within the Malcure Road Fire Station. The reworked building will allow for the expansion and development of the museum whilst also securing the long-term future of the building, which has been vacant since 2014 and has fallen into minor disrepair.

The GMFS Museum has been open since 1983, staffed entirely by a team of volunteers from within the fire service. The current home of the exhibition is within an old maintenance workshop, across the yard from the fire station. The proposed scheme will create an outward and forward looking museum which will make the best use of the historic building whilst interpreting the varied collection.

Birtenshaw School

BIRTENSHAW SCHOOL SUBMITTED FOR PLANNING

The application has been made on behalf of Birtenshaw, a charity that provides a unique range of services for children and young adults with special educational needs and disability across the North West.

The proposal will provide additional facilities for Birtenshaw School to educate children with severe learning disability, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, significant physical impairment and/or complex health needs and an early years service.

The scheme is comprised of 10 classroom suites, therapy accommodation, staff facilities, a hydrotherapy pool (including changing facilities) and a dining/sports hall, all arranged around a central landscaped sensory courtyard.

The new building is designed as a safe, secure, welcoming and supportive environment and will have a secluded and attractive layout with a positive focus on pupils within their teaching and therapy/play environments. The architectural design will also provide a therapeutic benefit: natural light, ventilation, space and outdoor amenity will be carefully controlled to produce a setting where pupils, carers and teachers feel valued.

31 Booth Street

31 BOOTH STREET SHORTLISTED FOR A NORTHERN BCO AWARD

The BCO Awards (British Council for Offices) highlight excellence in the design of office space. The awards programme provides recognition for top quality design and a benchmark for excellence in workplaces.

Our work to the Grade 2 listed office building achieves a distinctive change through a series of bold interventions that focus on how people enter and circulate within the building whilst also upgrading the office spaces themselves. To announce this transformation a previously blocked up historic archway on Booth St was opened up to form a new building entrance and a high quality bronze entrance doorway and canopy inserted signifying the internal changes and leading into a radically reordered ground floor layout. On entering the building at street level a series of double height spaces reveal views into the first floor offices above and creates a large and impressive volume that belies the building relatively modest scale.

The building provides fully refurbished and improved office accommodation and these offices are supported by upgraded facilities including full air conditioning, new WC layouts, showers and cycle storage.

TRINITY COURT TRANSFORMATION GRANTED APPROVAL

Our transformation of Trinity Court in Manchester City Centre has been granted planning approval.

The existing 9 storey office building on John Dalton Street, is situated within the Albert Square Conservation Area. The building was comprehensively redeveloped in the early 1990s with only the original 19th century facade being retained.

The approved works include a full refurbishment and internal reordering, to bring Trinity Court up to modern office standards. These alterations include a new entrance and foyer at street level, new rooftop extension and a comprehensive remodelling of the internal office accommodation.

The project will start on site January 2018.

MANCHESTER CENTRAL 16-17 NOVEMBER

OMI are attending this year’s Museums Association Conference.

Please come along to meet our team on stand 4a. Find out more about our ongoing museum work and see some of the exhibits from the Rochdale Fire Service Museum. Visitors to the stand will be able to preview our design approach and find out how OMI can help realise your project vision.

If you would like to arrange a meeting with a member of the team, please contact Andy James or Aaron Coey:

Andy James, Director: andy.james@omiarchitects.com
Aaron Coey, Associate: aaron.coey@omiarchitects.com

PLANS APPROVED FOR £3.5M EXPANSION OF BAND ON THE WALL

Today Manchester City Council has approved plans for the expansion of the historic Band on the Wall venue, including bringing the derelict Cocozza building, at the rear of the existing Band on the Wall, back to life.

The plans will see the multiple award-winning venue’s capacity increase from 350 to 500 for headline artists and performances. The Picturehouse Bar will be re-modelled with the external terrace space increased and a new commercial kitchen installed. A learning complex will include a rooftop A/V suite, allowing young people and education participants to create new digital work by engaging with international touring artists.

The Cocozza building is one of only a few remaining structures from the days of the Victorian Smithfield Market. The inclusion of the Cocozza building creates a new opportunities along Foundry Street and it is planned to install digital artworks in place of venue windows.

Second-stage funding will now be sought from Arts Council England.

WORK REACHES LEVEL 26 OF 44

The intended ‘shimmer’ is now visible as the sun moves around the building. The seamless glazed curtain walling system includes gold coloured reflective metal cladding panels set behind the glass at a variety of angles to give the effect. Work is also progressing on the lower level brick faced elements which will knit the building into the existing context.

OMI Job

Opportunities with OMI

Current Vacancies

We are always interested in meeting talented architects at all stages of development. If you believe you have the right qualities, please contact us.

The studio is an attractive and supportive working environment providing excellent opportunities for professional advancement. The practice is Mac-based using Vectorworks software.

We are an equal opportunities employer and committed to a policy of treating all its employees and applicants equally.

To Apply

Please email: info@omiarchitects.com attaching your CV and examples of your work.

OMI Architects

Vist Manchester [06.2015]

All Souls Bolton

SPAB [01.2015]

All Souls Bolton

RIBA Journal [01.2015]

All Souls Bolton

Architecture Today [01.2015]

All Souls Bolton

PRS [2015]

One Greengate

AJ Specification [11.2014]

2 Commercial Street

Architecture Today [08.2013]

Blackshale & Silverstone House

Architects' Journal - RIBA Awards [2011]

Creswell Crags Museum

AJ Small Projects [2010]

Creswell Crags Museum

Grand Designs Handbook [2006]

Private House

City Life [06.2005]

OMI Studio

Architects' Journal - RIBA Awards [2005]

OMI Studio

Architects' Journal [09.2004]

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Prospect [09.2003]

Private House

Architects' Journal [04.2001]

The National Football Museum

Church Building [02/03.2000]

Fourth Church of Christ Scientist

Manchester: Pevsner City Guide [2000]

Fourth Church of Christ Scientist

Manchester: A Guide to Recent Architecture

RIBA Book of 20th Century British Housing

Boundary Lane

New Architects [1998]

Boundary Lane

RIBA Journal [02.1996]

Boundary Lane

Museums Journal [04.1995]

Architects' Journal [08.1994]

Architects' Journal [04.1994]

Boundary Lane