Senior's Curtain Call at Bolton's Famous Theatre

With slim sightlines and enhanced thermal performance, Senior Architectural Systems’ SF52 aluminium curtain wall system has been put centre stage to create the modern new facade of the historic Octagon Theatre in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

Originally dating back to 1967, the theatre closed its doors in 2018 to undergo a full refurbishment and has recently reopened following completion of works and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Designed by JM Architects, the new-look theatre features Senior’s SF52 aluminium curtain walling which has been seamlessly integrated with the company’s SPW501 aluminium commercial doors and SPW600 aluminium windows. The attractive fenestration package was fabricated and installed by Aire Valley Architectural Systems Ltd for Willmott Dixon.

The theatre has been reconfigured and extended to provide new facilities for community use, upgraded performance areas and new front of house and back stage amenities. A new entrance and foyer have been created, with both benefiting from the use of Senior’s slim profile yet robust aluminium fenestration systems. The design of the new building, which is 25% bigger than the original space, also incorporates improved accessibility and wayfinding.

Despite its name, The Octagon’s historic auditorium is actually hexagonal in shape and this, alongside the tight site footprint in the busy Bolton town centre, resulted in restricted access on site and numerous challenges in coordinating the new extension with the existing building. These challenges were successfully overcome through supply chain collaboration and the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Offering enhanced thermal performance, Senior’s popular SF52 aluminium curtain wall can help contribute to a scheme’s energy-efficiency, with the 52mm system providing a slim framing solution. Available as a mullion drained system which removes the need for visible drainage slots, Senior’s SF52 curtain wall can also be specified as capped, silicone sealed or as a combination of the two for even greater design flexibility.

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