Ancoats Dispensary

Giving an Ancoats icon a new lease of life.

ancoats dispensary is a victorian brick building which has been adapted to create housing by Buttress Architects.
Great Places Housing Trust
Completed 2024

The iconic Grade II listed Ancoats Dispensary, close to Manchester city centre, was built in 1874 to provide healthcare for the city’s growing population alongside the Royal Infirmary. The local landmark remained in use until 1989 but remained vacant since. The building progressively deteriorated with scaffolding holding up what remained of the existing structure.

Designed for Great Places Housing Trust, Ancoats Dispensary has been reborn as a mixture of 39 one- and two-bedroom apartments, all available for affordable rent.

The starting point for this scheme aimed to protect the Grade II Listed Building as far as possible to ensure its architectural and heritage significance is appreciated.

As such, the proposals were developed to keep and restore the façades to Old Mill Street and Lampwick Lane, which are of higher heritage significance. A new steel structure has been used to permanently hold the historic façades in place. The central tower, which was previously removed from the site due to structural and safety concerns, has also been rebuilt.

The building footprint has been extended to the south by 4m to accommodate the required number of units and a small modern rooftop extension has been introduced, which steps back from Old Mill Street to allow the central tower to be the main focus of the design.

CGI of the rear of restored historic building.

The south and west façades have been newly built using a brick to match the tone of the side elevation. The façades to the top floors are powder coated in bronze to provide a warm tone that complements the brickwork while creating a distinction between old and new. Windows are in a regular pattern to the south of the building to create good symmetry in the design and a clear separation has been established between the existing Lampwick Lane façade and the new extension, using curtain wall glazing.

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