Nottingham Road: from concept to completion
Our objective is to transform this historic Theatre into 20 modern apartments, striking a balance between contemporary aesthetics and preserving its heritage. Despite the building’s existing reputation and neglected condition, our aim is to instill a sense of pride in its rejuvenated appearance. Creating a vibrant community atmosphere is paramount, and we have incorporated meeting places as prominent features. We took great care to preserve the historical facade facing the main road, garnering appreciation from the local community and council. By collaborating closely with the planning department, we successfully eliminated the CIL tax during the planning process, resulting in a significant cost savings of £200,000 for the developer.
Located on Nottingham Road, this historical building originally debuted as the Premier Electric Theatre in January 1912. Originally designed for 300 attendees, it underwent expansions to accommodate up to 1,000 people. However, in 1960, a devastating fire caused extensive damage, resulting in the closure of the theater. In 1974, the building reopened as Walkers Bingo Club but experienced a decline in popularity during the early 2000s. Regrettably, it ceased operations in 2013 and has remained unoccupied since then.
Situated in a primarily residential vicinity, this building is surrounded by commercial establishments and services that face the main road. The structure, currently in a state of disrepair, consists of three storeys and has previously served as a theatre and a Bingo Hall.
The building comprises a two-storey block featuring the original entrance to the theatre, public facilities, and staircases connecting the ground floor to the upper gallery. Additionally, there is a spacious room encompassing the auditorium, stage area with a projection room, and personnel facilities.
This project prioritizes the preservation and reverence of characteristic elements found in English architectural styles from the 19th and 20th centuries, including construction techniques, materials, and geometries in specific sections. Our design approach will center on a comprehensive analysis of the existing building, encompassing its architectural merit, historical features, usage, modifications, additions, and alterations made over time.
Solutions and Insights
We revitalized the building by demolishing deteriorated sections, creating a modern architectural style. The reconstructed 3-storey structure, preserving the original perimeter, features 14 one-bedroom flats and 6 two-bedroom flats, emphasizing practicality. Our commitment to sustainability is evident in the inclusion of dedicated spaces for eco-friendly transportation and recycling. Preserving the historically significant front block on Nottingham Road is integral to this residential conversion. Prior to the full application, a pre-planning submission with CGIs provided valuable insights into the planning process.
Our impactful contribution involved creating a proposal that garnered appreciation from the local community, aiming to enhance the quality of the area. This proposal successfully transformed the building, giving it a fresh and contemporary appearance while preserving its significant historical attributes. Maintaining a strong connection with the local community and preserving the building’s memory from the past were crucial considerations in our approach. To achieve this, we proposed retaining the facade facing Nottingham Road, recognized for its exceptional qualities. With the end-user in mind, our design focuses on fostering a sense of community, providing spaces that encourage meaningful relationships and inclusivity, particularly for individuals with special needs.