Culinary Arts School / Commercial Warehouse Conversion

Year: 2022

Site area: 1299 sqm / 13982 sqft

Number of story: 2

GIA Ground floor: 460 sqm / 4956.3 sqft

GIA First floor GIA: 305 sqm / 3286.5 sqft

Status: Planning Approved 

This project’s subject is to renovate and remodel an underused commercial warehouse into a Culinary Arts School.

The site is located northeast of Rochdale Town-Centre (2.3 miles) which is about 9 mins by car and 14mins by bicycle.

The premises are located in a PRIMARY EMPLOYMENT ZONE of the Rochdale Unitary Development Plan (June 2006). The area is populated by 18+ established businesses ranging through manufacturing, building material suppliers, Indoor Karting, an Air-Gun Club and many more.

Until recently the warehouse had been used as a storage facility for food and kitchenware supplies. This Unit was originally a training centre and storage facility for the NHS.

The regeneration and remodelling of the warehouse is aims to add to the diversification of the local business profile and, eventually, add to the variety of opportunities for the local workforce, too.


The 3 principles in layout planning are:

  1. Workflow Flexibility
  2. Curriculum needs
  3. The health and safety of all who study, work and visit the facility

The pivot space of the entire school is the teaching kitchen which is to be in the existing clear span open warehousing part of the building. The double height space will provide both sufficient space to accommodate all the kitchen systems and even more importantly to provide a sense of place for students to learn and to experiment.

The existing loading area will be the prep and storage to serve the adjacent main teaching kitchen.The existing kitchen will be expanded and integrated with a former service kitchen.

Through the existing side access to the teaching kitchen students can enter a proposed lean-to greenhouse where they will grow and pick fresh vegetables and herbs.

Students can  move directly from the teaching kitchen into the classroom by passing through a proposed door (at the end of the staircase).

A demonstration class or recipe testing activity can be held in this quieter and seated multi-purpose classroom.

The existing office area adjacent to the classroom will be transformed into a student café and canteen.

The entrance door will be relocated and open directly into the student café area and the school reception will also be integrated into this space.

The proposed first floor consists of an admin office and an open-plan multipurpose workshop area where food sciences, cooking, cultural and theory classes will be held. Students can also use the space for research or just ‘chilling out’.

At the end of the research/workshop area, there is an en-suite rest room.

The indoor garden area will use hydroponic technology to grow vegetables and herbs which are to be used in the cooking course. The indoor green area is also expected to function as a ‘lung’ to the entire teaching kitchen lab by giving off oxygen, balancing moisture levels and absorbing cooking smells.

A proposed photography / library room is located on the upper-level mezzanine in the eastern-most corner.


The objective is to achieve a look that appears unfinished but is thoughtfully and thoroughly planned.We are aiming to reveal the existing character of the building and add elements that will make it workable as a place to learn and experiment.

Any alterations or additions to the fabric of these structures will be minimalist and functional, with little or no decoration.


Improve the aesthetics of the existing building through re-assessment of cladding, landscaping, fenestration etc.

Restoration and repair – Remove the unused air condensers and repair existing gutters and claddings.

Refurbishment – Re-coating to refurbish the faded and tired profile wall cladding.

Fenestration – Replace the windows on the northwest face with full ceiling height triple glazed windows.