Museum Complex, Manchester

  • arts
  • educational
  • regeneration

A place where artifacts and objects from museums and collectors get sorted, categorised, databased and displayed for all.

Located in the heart of Manchester, against the backdrop of the canal, a vacant city block is waiting for a new intervention.

Our proposals are based on a series of new urban forms which interlock and weave around the site. As a juxtaposition to the bland faced city blocks our proposals dance and play with the city lines and grids. Differing materials related to the context of activities within the building.

By ‘filtering’ the artifacts, the objects can be located into areas which might include: dangerous, damaged, devalued, disputed or re-rationalised ‘pavilions’.

Our buildings not only describe themselves by reacting to views, lines and offsets within the cityscape but also describe in their materiality, solidity and transparency the activities from within. The solidity of dangerous, the protecting of damaged, the transparency of public and research spaces, the enclosure of basement archive.

Our intervention starts below ground with storage and archive areas. At ground level a new city ‘mat’, with differing materials from stone, water, soil and gravel positioned in lines of least or most resistance, based on the city grid and its offsets, lays the template for our proposal. By creating basins, plateaus, stone, gravel and water ‘fields’ we start to involve the public in the space of our proposals. The ground floor area becomes a series of public display piazza arenas. Open and enclosed spaces, retail and display, interactivity of a selection of display, but also transfer nodes to other areas of the complex.