Old School House - Bolton

The Old School House, is located in the Bradshaw Chapel Conservation area and has been vacant for over ten years. The existing schoolhouse dates from the late 19th Century and was the original St Maxentius School to the adjacent Church of the same name.

Sixtwo have been appointed to convert the existing building and design four new detached houses within the original carpark that will take advantage of its proximity and outlook onto the reservoir behind.

The existing building will be converted into 5 townhouses with integral carparking located within the lower ground floor. The main living spaces are located on the first floor to maximise the southern orientation (and balcony), and allow views over the fishing reservoir. New floors will be inserted for the upper (bedroom) floors to take advantage of the spacious architectural roof spaces.

The new build element will provide four 4 bed houses. Open plan living on the ground floor with large windows will take full advantage of the views. The material will predominantly be a buff brick with smooth grey header detailing that will relate to the similar brick used as a plinth to the existing building. The new houses will not be a pastiche of the ornate existing building but will take reference and provide a contemporary interpretation providing subtle references and connections.

The conversion of the schoolhouse is sympathetic to the heritage asset in that externally, little of the existing building envelope will be changed. The new dwellings are subservient to the Old Schoolhouse in scale and derive their form from the roofscape of the Schoolhouse’s rear gables. As well as breaking up the massing of the individual houses, (a single roof would raise the ridge height), it ties the new buildings to the character of the Schoolhouse, making them part of a single family.

The houses and conversion of the existing have been developed to ensure there are no overlooking issues and to provide a sense of privacy/independence despite the proximity of adjacent buildings.

A shared surface will help break down the barriers between road and footpath creating a more appealing environment and community.