Ashton Old Baths

How do you build a building inside a building?

This was the engineering question PlaceFirst posed to us when we were approached to work on the refurbishment and renovation of Ashton Old Baths.

A beautiful Grade II listed building with a storied history, the Victorian structure was built in 1870 and functioned as one of the first-ever municipal swimming baths in the country. It had been left empty for 40 years before PlaceFirst acquired the building in 2014.

The brief was to deliver a wonderfully modern office and co-working space within the outer shell of the long empty Victorian bath house.

As with any Grade II listed structure, there is a strong emphasis on preserving the heritage of the asset and on enhancing and complementing the period grandeur.

There were multiple challenges to overcome to achieve our goals here. Alongside difficult ground works, there was the issue of access, and bringing equipment and materials through a double-door-sized opening.

This was renaissance’s very own ship in a bottle project.

The constraints of the site meant we had to think smartly about our approach. We delivered an extremely efficient framing solution that saved our client precious time and money, and enabled all equipment and materials to fit through the small entrance.

The £3m commercial hub is now one of the most successful office spaces in Tameside, delivering a modern commercial environment that blends beautifully with the preserved Victorian architecture.

Client: PlaceFirst
Location: Ashton
Value: £3M