Ashton Old Baths
Arguably the finest example of a former municipal public swimming baths in the North, this Grade II* listed landmark building, has been brought back to life as a new digital and media hub. The development includes the complete restoration of the existing building and the introduction of 7,000sqft of modern office space in the form of a striking, independent free-standing structure.
The entire building has been sympathetically renovated throughout, with the external walls restored to make it completely air and water-tight, and structural works to reinforce and enhance its original features. The newly-constructed core of the building, an architectural marvel built into the original walls, is home to an impressive range of private workspaces designed to inspire creative thinking. Its organic form exploits borrowed daylight from the existing high-level windows, while retaining the impact of the former pool hall’s cathedral-like open space and allows the internal fabric of the intricate structure to remain visible. The Baths’ stunning arches have also been preserved and transformed into a series of stylish meet-up spaces. The spacious internal rooftop area provides a purpose-built backdrop for larger events, with awe-inspiring views of the bath’s original beams and brickwork, alongside bright contemporary, glass-fronted meeting rooms.
The re-purposing of Ashton Old Baths demonstrates how a sympathetic and innovative design can transform and repurpose the future of such a remarkable space. The baths remain a key landmark within the area and the future of the historic building has been assured for generations to come. However the sympathetic new scheme allows for future flexibility, with the new intervention just touching the existing fabric of the building – allowing for adaptability if desired.
Ashton Old Baths was enabled using grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, the building’s owners. Team members from Vincent & Brown designed and led the project throughout whilst at a previous practice.
Placefirst / Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council