Urbis Manchester Building Photos, Architect, Location, Date, Contact, Design Images

Urbis Manchester Building

National Football Museum Building in northwest England design by Ian Simpson architects, UK

17 Apr 2010


Museum, exhibition and conference centre
Date built: 2002
Design: Ian Simpson Architects

National Football Museum

Address: Exchange Square

Manchester building photos © Adrian Welch, April 2010:

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Urbis Manchester

Contact: 0871 7030327

Urbis is an exhibition and museum venue in Manchester, England, designed by Ian Simpson and completed in 2002. From 2002 to 2010, the centre hosted changing exhibits on popular-culture themes including urban living, art, music, fashion, photography and videogames alongside talks, gigs and special events. In 2012, it re-opened as the permanent National Football Museum, which had moved from Deepdale, the home of the celebrated Lancashire football club Preston North End.

Urbis is a unique building in Cathedral Gardens, designed by Ian Simpson Architects with consulting engineers Martin Stockley Associates. The building opened in June 2002 as part of the redevelopment of Exchange Square known as the Millennium Quarter. The building has six storeys and a distinctive sloping form. Visitors view the exhibits from the top floor, accessed by an elevator, and progress down a series of cascading mezzanine floors to the end of the exhibition. The exterior consists of approximately 2,200 glass panes arranged in horizontal strips. The building has an adiabatic cooling system for use in summer and heat recovery system for use in winter increasing its energy efficiency.

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Location: north side of city centre, near Arndale Centre and cathedral

Visitors paying a £5 admission fee were unimpressed and few visitors returned, which the management saw as a key problem. By October 2003, visitor numbers were below 200 a day and criticism mounted as to whether a £2m subsidy from Manchester City Council was money well spent, The Guardian architecture critic Deyan Sudjic remarked that the exhibits were a “spectacular missed opportunity”, although Urbis did garner some praise in other quarters. A move aimed at giving Urbis a clear identity was made, as many had queried its purpose and, in an attempt to boost visitor figures, the admission fee was scrapped in December 2003.

Urbis Manchester

Urbis Manchester architects : Ian Simpson

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National Football Museum Preston moved to Urbis in Manchester.

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Urbis closed in February 2010 for conversion to the National Football Museum. Plans to relocate the National Football Museum from Preston in Lancashire had emerged in 2009. The museum trustees cited long-term funding worries as the reason for relocating to Manchester where 400,000 visitors a year – four times the previous figure – are expected.

Preston City Council, unhappy at the proposals, attempted to thwart the move. The University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council offered the museum £400,000 per year but were outbid by Manchester City Council’s £2 million. Admission is free and a broad advertising campaign will aim to attract visitors to Urbis. In the first 9 months of opening, the museum had already attracted 350,000 visitors.

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Manchester building photo © Adrian Welch 2006

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Manchester building photo © Adrian Welch 2006

Urbis Manchester City Centre
The Urbis building is used for corporate hospitality, exhibitions, seminars & private functions.

Urbis Manchester City Centre
photo © webbaviation

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Manchester building photos © Matthew Ansell Sep 2006

Address: Urbis, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester

Urbis Manchester design : Ian Simpson Architects

Location: Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, Northwest England, UK

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Comments / images for the Urbis Manchester Building design by Ian Simpson architects page welcome

Website: www.nationalfootballmuseum.com