MGMA Architects have secured consent for internal and external refurbishment works to Cotton House, Old Hall Street, Liverpool for owner Bruntwood Works. The eight-storey 1967 structure forms part of the complex of the former Cotton Exchange, adjacent to the remaining 1906 portion of the building. The practice completed bistro One Fine Day on the ground floor in 2017.
The scheme comprises the refurbishment of vacant suites and common areas throughout, together with replacement glazing and improvement works to the building entrance. The new portico design concept derived from a reading of the existing building’s form and materiality. The existing elevations are formed of slender profiled precast concrete panels, with an expressed loggia frame at roof level.
The new precast concrete portico in two subtle finishes creates a dialogue with the existing facade panels. The repetition of the stepped device creates a powerful architectural experience of threshold, a transition from the street scale to the building interior. The form is treated in such a manner as to prompt unconscious recognition, whereby the entrance asserts itself architecturally to the street. Signage is embossed, recessed within the precast concrete; it is thus inherent, not applied, adding further weight to the entrance.
The simplified proportion of the replacement glazing arrangement further enhances the tectonic qualities of the existing building. The panels are liberated from the fuss of glazing mullions and transoms, and the elevation reveals its inherent qualities. Glass to glass corners accentuate the delicacy the elevation, amplifying the lightness of the original design intent.
RIBA Work Stages 0-4