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The sympathetic and sustainable regeneration of the estate is driven by the desire to protect and enhance the remarkable heritage of the area. To that aim, the development builds on the site’s historic characteristics whilst integrating leading environmental technologies and standards for urban development.
Hanover is the earliest surviving commercial warehouse built by the Co-operative Wholesale Society’s (CWS) in-house architecture department.

It is forged from two buildings: E Block was built as a drapery warehouse and completed in 1904; and Hanover was added in 1909 to create offices and additional warehouse space. The red brick building with stone carved details is an outstanding example of Edwardian Baroque, and was built using the most advanced construction techniques of its time. The overall construction cost was £50,000 which is equivalent to £5.5 million today.

A series of cartouches can be seen all around the building’s façade, detailing some of the many locations CWS traded with at the time of construction.

The Co-operative Wholesale Society started in Manchester, born out of the Rochdale Pioneers Society of 1844 with the support of other co-operative societies. The buildings were built by the CWS at the turn of the 20th century. Block E was the first component of the listed pair to be built. It was erected circa 1903-05, to house the expanding drapery business and was used as warehouse and showroom premises for wholesale and retail sales until the late 1960’s, since then it has remained unoccupied. The city block was completed by the opening of Hanover House in 1909. Hanover House was purpose built to accommodate administrative offices and a meeting hall for the ever-growing number of Co-operative members. The building remained in use until 2013 as offices for The Co-op.
The wholesale refurbishment of both Hanover and E Block will link the 2 buildings via a new reception and circulation core in Hanover with link bridges from the new core to E Block.

At the heart of the redevelopment is a new covered atrium formed from the space between the two buildings and accessed from Hanover and Balloon Street. As the first buildings on the Listed Estate to undergo major refurbishment, a particular effort was put in understanding the heritage elements and analysing options to sympathetically refurbish the building accounting for its remarkable characteristics.

The Hanover re-development will sympathetically enhance the buildings unique period features, internally and externally.

On completion the building will provide efficient Grade A office space blended with original heritage character. The target for practical completion of all refurbishment works is September 2018.

Visit the Hanover building page >


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