BDP wins competition for Rochdale revamp

Creating riverside green space and a sustainable public realm were key to a BDP bid to transform Rochdale town centre which has won a RIBA competition.

Riverside planting and an opening up of public areas key to winnning design
Riverside planting and an opening up of public areas key to winnning design

The company beat a strong shortlist including Adam Khan Architects, Atkins, Bauman Lyons and Land Use Consultants and will now work with Rochdale Council to develop the proposals in more detail before applying for a second stage bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to reopen the river.

The competition was launched to improve the look of the town centre and better connect the two sides of the River Roch, following plans to reopen it.

BDP’s Manchester studio landscape group leader James Millington said: "’The chance to be involved in the ambitious plans to transform the heart of Rochdale was too good an opportunity to miss. 

"Our design concept acknowledges the importance of the River Roch in the town’s history, picking up on the idea of open spaces on the river bank and historical routes leading down to and across the river. 

"Materials informed by the surrounding buildings will bind the spaces and buildings together into one harmonious place, with the introduction of extensive tree and low maintenance planting helping to create a green and sustainable urban landscape.’

BDP’s winning design features glass viewing platforms to allow visitors to see the exposed bridges in more detail as well as extensive greenery around the site. An interpretation of Rochdale’s history as a centre of textile manufacture, radical politics and the co-operative movement is also integrated into the design.

Rochdale Council leader Colin Lambert said: "It was difficult to choose a winner from such an exceptional shortlist but BDP’s design really stood out. This is an incredibly exciting project and a critical part of our regeneration plans. Along with our £100m development agreement, it will move us closer to the fantastic town centre our residents and visitors deserve."

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