Rochdale Pioneers Museum

Loop Systems, Rochdale, 2013


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Rochdale Pioneers Museum Exterior 

Adam Coupe (website)     Download Original

  • Rochdale Pioneers Museum Exterior    
  • Front Elevation    
  • Extension and Civic Space    
  • Extension Rear View    
  • Rainscreen cladding detail    
  • Original Pioneers Store    
  • Exhibition Space Ground Floor    
  • Exhibition Space Ground Floor    
  • Staircase in extension    
  • Exhibition Space First Floor    
  • Exhibition Space First Floor    
  • Rear Corridor Second Floor    
  • Second Floor Landing    
  • Education Space Second Floor    
  • Ground floor and site plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Longitudinal section through existing    
  • Cross sections    
  • Longitudinal section through existing    
  • Sections through extension    
  • Section through link between new and existing    
  • Rear elevation    
  • Front elevation    
  • Side elevation    
  • Side elevation to road    
  • Detailed section through curtain wall    

Museum refurbishment of a grade II listed warehouse with the addition of a new build access tower

The modern Co-operative movement began in 1844 with the Rochdale Pioneers in a wool warehouse in Toad Lane. That building survives today as a museum established in 1931, that was refurbished with an internal concrete structure to prevent its collapse in the 1970s.

The historic fabric of the warehouse was renewed through the conservation and correction of fenestration, masonry and the testing and matching of original lime mortar samples to ensure that renewed and replaced pointing unified the look and performance of the brickwork envelope, whilst stripping the white paint from all interior surfaces revealed the original fabric.

A mezzanine floor provides an education space and the resulting double height void beyond the glass balustrade connects the upper floors allowing the large showcases to be viewed from two levels. Floor area was gained further by moving vertical circulation outside the main building to a new tower of contrasting material and geometry.

Natural materials have been selected, such as the naturally weathering oak rainscreen, timber curtain wall system and glu-laminated timber structure enclosing the new staircase and lift. Organic and non-solvent based paints have been used and linoleum flooring has been employed throughout the building except in areas where the original stone flags were retained.


  • Begun: 2011
  • Completed: 2013
  • Floor area: 320m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £1M
  • Procurement: JCT Intermediate with Contractor's Design
  • Address: 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL12 0NU, United Kingdom

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