RIBA Competitions and the Hallé Concerts Society are pleased to announce that the competition to extend its Hallé St Peter’s facility in Ancoats (Manchester) has been won by a design team led by Stephenson Studio.

This proposed new-build extension will form the second phase of the project to transform the Grade II listed former church building into rehearsal, performance, education and ancillary spaces for the Hallé Orchestra, Choir and other ensembles.  The Stephenson Studio team was selected from a five strong shortlist that also included (in alphabetical order of design team lead):  Caruso St John Architects; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Flanagan Lawrence and Jamie Fobert Architects.

The Judging Panel which evaluated the design submissions consisted of the Hallé’s Chief Executive, members of its Board, together with Mike Oglesby CBE DL (Retired Chairman and CEO, Bruntwood), Sir Jeremy Dixon (acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser) and Niall McLaughlin (Niall McLaughlin Architects).

In selecting the winner, the Panel reflected on the Hallé’s ambition for the new extension to provide a noteworthy addition to the architectural heritage of the former cotton mill area of the city; an appropriate adjunct to the existing building’s ecclesiastical architecture; help in consolidating the adjacent Cutting Room Square and a refreshing rather than derivative approach to embody the ethos of the Hallé as an organisation.

On announcing Stephenson Studio as winners, Hallé Chief Executive John Summers said:  “We are delighted to be working with Stephenson Studio on this project in an iconic part of new Manchester.  We look forward to the development of a building that will provide inspiration for generations of the City’s musicians and a focus for our community and Education programme”.

Sir Jeremy Dixon commented:  “We all thought that the submissions were of a very high standard, particularly with respect to the care in making presentations and the attention to the requirements of the Hallé.  It made the experience of seeing the work and hearing the architects’ descriptions a real pleasure.  Indeed, as with a generally high standard, it becomes difficult to make a final choice.  The Panel selected Stephenson Studio for the elegance of their proposal and their engagement with the requirements of the Hallé.  We can look forward with confidence to a building that properly represents the importance of the Hallé to the city of Manchester”.