OMI Architects renovated the 19th-century All Soul Church in Bolton, UK, by inserting into its nave two multifunctional pods meant to provide a library space, meeting areas, classrooms, exhibition spaces and even a gym. The freestanding structures were positioned in such a way that they don't disrupt the way the church is currently used. They can be observed from different vantage points within the church interior and act as a visual counterpoint to the original nave.
The renovation was meant to allow visitors to get closer to the building’s interior design. Elevated walkways and stairways are integrated within the original space and amplify the architectural qualities of both the existing structure and the addition.
Instead of replicating the original building style, the architects decided to create a contrast and build two volumes raised above the main church floor. One of the pods is located on the south side of the nave, a three-storey volume containing offices, kitchen, meeting rooms and toilets, while the second pod rests on six columns and comprises an even space with a restaurant and coffee shop underneath.
Photos by Andy Marshall