People's History Museum
Manchester’s People’s History Museum’s unique collections track the development of democracy through the lives of the working people of Britain.
Although boasting a world class collection the Museum’s split between two sites had neither helped its public profile or its operation and management. Our job was to help the museum consolidate onto one site and to give the museum a striking new presence in the city.
A piece of Manchester City Council owned land next to the museum’s occupation of an Edwardian hydraulic pumping station unlocked the potential for a landmark extension providing new galleries and front-of-house facilities and allowing a sensitive restoration of the historic buildings.
A new entrance next to a busy city centre artery leads into a generous new concourse area linking the old and new areas of the museum. A new riverside restaurant and terrace helps raise the public’s awareness of the museum.
The upper level of the new extension house environmentally conditioned galleries for the permanent collection and a state-of-the-art conservation studio. At its lowest level it provides a new BS5454 archive with a reading room overlooking the River Irwell.
Clad in COR-ten steel, the new extension has been described as “a little miracle of urban design”
A little miracle of Urban Design
A rough diamond that doesn’t have to compete with its bigger neighbour…This building really cheers me up by its don’t give a damn individuality as I come to work. Brilliant piece of work love it
Craig Jill on Manchester Confidential
CLIENT: MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL / PEOPLE'S HISTORY MUSEUM
SERVICE: ARCHITECTURE, INTERIORS
SECTOR: ARTS & CULTURE
CONTRACTOR: WATES GROUP
SERVICES: BURO HAPPOLD
COST CONSULTANT: SIMON FENTON PARTNERSHIP
2011 CIVIC TRUST AWARD WINNER
2011 MSA DESIGN AWARDS COMMENDATION
2010 GREATER MANCHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARD, BUILDING OF THE YEAR
2007 MANCHESTER SOCIETY ARCHITECTS DESIGN AWARDS – UN-BUILD COMMUNITY AWARD