Famed as an imaginary TV police station, this civic building is a civic building I simply can’t resist. I return on a regular basis to wander and snap. This is an open public space that seems little loved and has few visitors.
It is quite literally concrete poetry incarnate, a careful collision of form, tone, texture and line, softened with sympathetic planting.
There had been proposals to extend the Town Hall provison since 1945, which were finally realised in 1975. Built at a cost of £1,500,000 – to provide additional office provision for the Local Authority. A further two blocks were planned but never built.
Stopford House was built 1975 and designed by JS Rank OBE, Director of Development & Town Planning, Stockport Council.
The main block is clad in 1400 exposed aggregate precast panels and the link blocks have ribbed walls constructed with in situ concrete, bush hammered to expose the limestone aggregate. The precast panels were carefully matched in order to harmonize with the existing Town Hall, the mix contained coarse aggregate from the Scottish Granite Company of Creetown, a fine Leemoor sand from the Fordamin Company, together with white cement.
There are two levels of underground parking beneath the whole of the development. The piazza betwen the blocks was to have had a water cascde falling into a pond running the whole length of the area. Though exciting and expansive in the modern manner the piazza area, sadly, seems little used.
It needs a little love pop by and say hello sometime.