Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre, Mecanoo Building England, Cornerhouse Project

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre

First Street Venue Development, northwest England, UK design by Mecanoo, architects

13 Mar 2017

HOME Arts Centre in Manchester

Award for Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre

Design: Mecanoo architecten

Mecanoo’s HOME arts centre in Manchester awarded for universal design

Delft, March 13, 2017 – HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, has been awarded the 2017 Civic Trust Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design. The building, designed by Mecanoo architecten and commissioned by Manchester City Council, received the prize for “demonstrating that consultation with disabled people and groups has co-produced design features that cater for a wide range of users without segregation.”

Home Manchester arts centre

HOME has been designed to allow for the commissioning, production and hosting of critically engaged and technically complex artistic projects, as well as the hosting of large scale cultural events. Its striking exterior acts like beacon, while the welcoming public spaces and social areas within are designed so that HOME will be inviting to all: a place for making, meeting and socialising, alongside enjoying the very best in international contemporary visual art, theatre and film.

Home Manchester arts centre

Becky Goldsmith, Selwyn Goldsmith Award Panel Member, said:
“Manchester’s HOME is a magnificent example of a city-centre cultural and recreational hub. The city now has an exemplary venue for live performing arts which represents all that is meant by ‘Universal Design’ in its concepts and realisation. The cinemas, theatres, performance spaces and all public areas demonstrate complete understanding of universal needs. In practice this means that the demands of everyday baby-management are as efficiently met as provision of perfect access for those with mobility and sensory problems. This achievement is an ideal embodiment of Selwyn’s universal ethos.”

Home Manchester arts centre

Francesco Veenstra, Partner at Mecanoo architecten, said:
“Universal design is about making buildings safe and convenient for use by everybody. It is about creating spaces where many identities, ideas and interests can boundlessly flourish. HOME is not just about the fantastic theatre spaces, cinemas and gallery, but also the social space, the restaurant, bar, and terrace. It’s a building made of concrete, timber, glass and metal with a lighting design that creates a great atmosphere. Most of all, it’s a building for people – all people.”

Home Manchester arts centre

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:
“HOME was made for everyone to enjoy and one of our key ambitions therefore was that it should be accessible to all. With over 1,000,000 visits in its first year of opening, it’s clearly a venue that audiences have taken to their hearts, so it’s great news that its accessibility has also now been recognised in this way. Proof too that if anyone with access needs hasn’t yet made a visit then there really is nothing to stop you going along and enjoying everything this world-class venue has to offer.”

Home Manchester arts centre

Dave Moutrey, Director & Chief Executive of HOME, said:
“Throughout the design process our aim was to create a HOME for everyone, so being the recipient of this prestigious award feels particularly special. Working on this project with the City Council and Mecanoo has been an enjoyable, productive and fruitful experience and I strongly believe that we have succeeded in creating a space that welcomes audiences, supports and furthers creativity and presents international thought-provoking work from the world of theatre, visual art and film.”

Home Manchester arts centre

The Selwyn Goldsmith Award, named after the founding figure of universal design, recognises and rewards buildings or spaces that have been designed to ensure they consider the needs of all users, are safe and convenient for everybody, including disabled people. The award is presented yearly by the Civic Trust Awards and is sponsored by Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Home Manchester arts centre

HOME has won numerous awards, including the 2016 RIBA National Award. Mecanoo was previously awarded the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for the Library of Birmingham in 2015.

page updated 27 Oct 2016 with new images ; 28 May 2015

HOME Manchester Arts Centre

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre Design

Design: Mecanoo architecten, Netherlands

Photos of HOME, Courtesy of Mecanoo:

HOME, Manchester’s new centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, is a catalyst for the developments around First Street, giving Manchester a new cultural epicentre.

Home Manchester arts centre

As the base for the new organisation formed by the merger of Cornerhouse and The Library Theatre Company, HOME has been designed to allow for the commissioning, production and presentation of complex artistic projects, as well as the hosting of large scale cultural events.

Home Manchester arts centre

Its striking exterior acts like a beacon, while the welcoming public spaces and social areas within are designed to be inviting to all; it is a cultural home. Connecting the First Street zone with the city centre, the building’s characteristic, triangular shape creates a strong visual identity.

The iridescent glazed facade adorned with irregularly spaced fins opens up where public areas are located, giving the building a dynamic appearance. A terrace is located beneath the large overhang, connecting the café bar to the public square that can be used for outdoor cultural events.

Home Manchester arts centre

The wide central stairwell at the heart of HOME acts as an informal social space, connecting the different uses of the venue: theatre, cinema and gallery.

It encourages visitors to use the stairs instead of the lifts as the main circulation route through the building. The bars on each floor and the restaurant are cleverly integrated into the characteristic stairwell.

The interior concept and layout is that of an urban living room, instilling a sense of warmth and intimacy. The rugged concrete floors and walls contrast beautifully with the warm oak of the bars.

Home Manchester arts centre

The main theatre on the first floor contains 500 colourful seats across three levels. The second and third floors house the smaller flexible studio theatre space and five top-of-the-range cinemas in a range of sizes. The four metre-high flexible gallery space is located on the ground floor.

Home Manchester arts centre

Size: 7,600 sqm
Status: Completed
Project Design: 2011-12
Project Realisation: 2012-15
Address: First Street, Manchester, United Kingdom
Client: Manchester City Council

Home Manchester arts centre

Programme: Art and culture house with 2 theater rooms (500 and 150 seats), 5 cinema rooms (250, 150, 60, 40 and 40 seats), a restaurant, café, roof terrace, gallery, 3 foyers and supporting spaces such as offices, practice rooms, work places, educational spaces, dressing rooms, expedition rooms and a public square

Awards: RIBA National Awards 2016; RIBA Northwest Regional Awards 2016; Tourism & Leisure Winner RICS Awards 2016.

Home Manchester arts centre

A RIBA National Award Winner 2016 – 23 Jun 2016

Website: HOME Manchester Arts Centre – text, photos, plans + video

30 Apr 2015

HOME Manchester

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre Building

Design: Mecanoo architecten, Netherlands

Manchester’s new £25m arts centre Home opens in May. The large curved glass wedge that has appeared opposite the site of the old Hacienda nightclub. This cultural powerhouse to rival London is the latest evidence of a mini building boom in Manchester’s cultural scene.

29 Jun 2012

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre News

Planning Permission for Manchester arts and cultural centre

Design: Mecanoo architecten

The £19m venue, at First Street in the city centre, will house two theatres, five cinemas, gallery and restaurant space and will anchor a major regeneration scheme that will transform Manchester’s southern gateway, report the Manchester Evening News today.

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre
image from JPA

It will provide a new joint home for the city’s Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse.

The plans, being delivered by Manchester council and developers Ask, also feature a 208-bed, four star hotel, from Spanish chain, Melia, a 700 space multi-storey car park and 30,000 square feet of shopping, food and drink and leisure facilities.

There will also be a new public square which will host outdoor performances.

The two theatres will seat 500 and 150 people respectively.

The scheme, designed by Beetham Tower architect Ian Simpson and Dutch firm Mecanoo, was given the go ahead by planners at Manchester town hall who granted planning permission for the project today. Work is expected to start on site by the end of the year and the centre is due to open early in autumn 2014.

First Street

Design: Ian Simpson Architects and Mecanoo

Ian Simpson Architects and Mecanoo have unveiled plans for the development of First Street. This project proposes a joint new home in Manchester city centre for The Cornerhouse cinema and the Library Theatre Company. The 38,400 sqm project is for Client Ask Developments.

Jul 2011

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre Awarded to Mecanoo

Mecanoo to design Manchester arts and cultural centre

Design: Mecanoo

Mecanoo has been awarded the commission to design a new, prestigious arts and cultural centre for Manchester. The project brings together two existing cultural establishments, the renowned Manchester Library Theatre Company, and the beloved Cornerhouse art house cinema.

The centre will also accommodate large cultural festivals and international events including the Manchester International Festival. Along with two auditoria with 500 and 150 seats, five cinemas, a café and a foyer, the cultural centre includes an art gallery, studio and teaching spaces and a plaza for outdoor performances. The international competition was launched by Manchester City Council and Ask Developments.

Mecanoo’s vision is closely aligned with the ambitions of Manchester City Council to transform the site around First Street and Whitworth Street into a vibrant cultural hub. New hotels, shops, a parking garage and outdoor public areas are also being developed in the area. The new arts and cultural centre shall form the catalyst for these further developments in the southwest area of downtown Manchester. Construction will begin in 2012, with doors opening in 2014. Mecanoo has teamed up with Buro Happold, Davis Langdon (AECOM) and theateradvies bv for the project.

Mecanoo is an internationally operating bureau practicing architecture, urbanism, landscape and interiors and is led by founding architect / creative director Francine Houben. Projects include the Library of Birmingham, the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts in Kaoshiung (Taiwan) and the campus of the National University of Science and Technology MISiS in Moscow. In 2010 La Llotja de Lleida theatre and conference centre in Lerida (Spain) opened.

Manchester Arts & Cultural Centre image / information from Mecanoo

Mecanoo + Ian Simpson Architects

Location: First Street, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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