The striking bell tower of Deansgate Chapel is a dramatic landmark hovering over Manchester’s Deansgate Station on the edge of the Castlefield Urban Heritage Park. Edward Walters originally designed the Grade II listed building as a Congregational Chapel in 1852 (architect of Manchester’s Free Trade Hall). It has since had spells as a Sunday school, auction rooms and latterly the recording studio for Stock Aitken and Waterman’s ‘Hit Factory’ recording the likes of Kylie and Rick Astley in the 1980’s. OMI converted the building to offices in 2010 and it is now the headquarters of leading law firm, Pannone.
Deansgate Chapel is a radical transformation by OMI that has balanced sensitive conservation with the needs of the contemporary working environment. The original building has been stripped back and laid bare. A striking, free-form structure provides meeting rooms and additional floor space within the nave of the former church. A series of dramatic fissures have been created between new and existing, which allow glimpses of the original volume whilst maximising usable floor space. A changing sequence of spatial experiences provides elements of surprise that animates the journey through the building.