BUILDING OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST: Hello Future (Manchester Museum)

Date: 30/01/2024
Author: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Each week we are focusing on one of the six buildings that have been shortlisted for the Building of the Year Award 2023.

This week we take a look at Hello Future project at Manchester Museum. The museum is a symbol of the Victorian spirit of discovery and public education. However, it had historically suffered from layout and visitor flow issues as a result of the piecemeal evolution of the buildings, following the completion of the original neo-Gothic building by Waterhouse in 1890.

The special exhibitions gallery and the South Asia Gallery were designed as part of the transformation to improve visitor accessibility and gallery facilities. The new building infills a former courtyard space, requiring careful interface with the brickwork, terracotta and stonework of existing facades to the Grade II listed Waterhouse buildings, which were carefully conserved as part of the project and considers the heritage impact of a new gallery building upon views to and from the listed building facades, as well as the impact of acoustics and vibration upon neighbouring museum and university facilities.

Close attention was paid to the quality of materials, detailing and construction, with new glazed terracotta details on the contemporary extension echoing details of the Waterhouse façade.

The project achieved a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating, in-line with the museum’s Sustainability Strategy.

A key project success was that it enabled the visitor entrance sequence to be completely re-thought, relocating it to the Oxford Road elevation, fulfilling a long-term ambition of the museum to re-establish this original entrance for visitor use.

Manchester Museum reopened to great acclaim in February 2023, and saw a massive 52,000 people visit during its opening week.

Celebrate the Winner

Six buildings have been shortlisted for the Building of the Year Award 2023:

The winner of the Building of the Year Award 2023 will be announced at the Property and Construction Awards Dinner on 29th February at Imperial War Museum North - book your places here.