Northwich Regeneration Partnership with the support of the RIBA Competition Office launched an open design competition seeking architects with exceptional design skills to develop proposals for a new Cultural Centre at Baron's Quay in Northwich, Cheshire.
Jefferson Sheard's iconic and inspiring design; ‘The Salt Crystal', was one of 5 shortlisted schemes from a total of 112 entries from the UK, Europe and beyond.
The architectural forms are derived from the natural formation of salt rock, a mineral which has been excavated in Northwich for over 2,000 years. At the heart of the composition is the main concrete mass of the theatre auditorium; a multi-functional performance space for theatre, music, conference and events. The restaurant, bars and public galleries overlook the attractive riverside setting. The leaning glass prow creates a landmark and focal point to the river frontage and a springing point for a future pedestrian bridge.
The crystalline geometries provide a dramatic backdrop to a new outdoor space for performance, recreation, and river activities. The external space is terraced to follow the natural contours of the site forming an amphitheatre and addressing approaches from the existing town centre as well as future developments.