The transformation of a 1960s steel framed market building into a live music venue with bar and restaurant, directly adjacent to a listed building within Lyceum Square.


Crewe, UK


Cheshire East Council




Submitted for planning 2022. Currently on hold.


Burrell Foley Fischer


SD Engineers

SD Team

Mike Davies
Alison Wallis
Alex O’Reilly
Harry Furnival-Doran

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To preserve the heritage of Crewe, previously home to a large railway engineering facility, Burrell Foley Fischer adopted an industrial architectural vision to Powerhouse with the structure remaining exposed throughout.

Our client, Cheshire East Council, placed great emphasis on delivering a sustainable building and SD have been instrumental in providing a carbon count for each scheme option explored throughout Stage 2. Our goal was to produce a clear comparison of all schemes to ensure a carbon informed decision could be made by the client and design team.

As key decisions progressed throughout Stage 3, we specified a target for structural embodied carbon and refined the design to reduce carbon intensive elements where possible.

Rigorous testing of the existing steel and connections ensured each member could be categorised for reuse elsewhere on site. Around 65% of the existing primary steel is incorporated into the scheme stage 3, with minimal onsite fabrication requirements, offering an approximate saving of 11 tonnes of embodied carbon.

Regular coordination workshops with the M&E team at stage 3 allowed us to optimise the structural depths at pinch point locations.

The addition of a single column meant we could support the precast slabs of the top of the steel frame, rather than within the depth of the beams. This alleviated the need for additional steel angles to support the precast slabs, offering a saving of approximately 3.5 tones of embodied carbon.

A desne structure was chosen for the auditorium box to provide sufficient sound insulation.  Following a detailed optioneering study, we were able to specify a zero carbon blockwork by designing within the strengths limits of the sustainable option, and we were able to justify its use as the primary stability system and a load bearing element.

This structural solution had the advantage of not only providing a sustainable option but also meeting the acoustic specifications and the client’s aesthetic vision.

The steel, low carbon blockwork, and timber are all exposed throughout reducing the need for additional finishes. Aside from the structure, low carbon and renewable energy systems will be adopted and photovoltaic panels will be added to the roof.

The design meets the LETI non-residential target for 2030 and has a SCORS Rating of B with scope of improving this at the later stages.