Architect named on £110m Factory

Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture has won the international competition to design The Factory in Manchester, a new arts centre for the city at the former ITV Granada site, beating eight other shortlisted practices including Zaha Hadid and SimpsonHaugh.

The project will be OMA’s first major public building in the UK.

The government has agreed revenue funding for the project of £9m each year from 2018/19 as part of its Spending Review announced today.

The construction of The Factory is part of the £1.2bn plans for the St John’s neighbourhood, which will see the delivery of up to 3,000 residential units, 600,000 sq ft of workspace, and a mix of hotels and cultural buildings. The scheme is being delivered by Allied London and Manchester City Council.

Factory OMA interior 2The Factory has been earmarked as the permanent home of the Manchester International Festival and will provide a venue for theatre, music and art events.

The Factory will be large enough and flexible enough to allow more than one new work of significant scale to be shown and/or created at the same time, accommodating combined audiences of up to 7,000.

Construction is due to begin in 2016 with completion in 2019.

OMA’s projects include the recently completed Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, the Fondazione Prada in Milan, and the CCTV headquarters in Beijing. In the UK its projects have included the headquarters for Rothschild Bank in the City of London and a Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre in Glasgow. It also created the Serpentine Pavilion in 2006.

The budget for The Factory Manchester is estimated to be up to £110m. The Government pledged £78m in last year’s Autumn Statement towards the project as part of its Northern Powerhouse initiative. Manchester City Council will develop the rest of the funding package, which will include third party support such as public subscription and donations, as part of the detailed business case. Capital receipts from planned land and property sales will generate the council’s contribution to capital funding.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “One of the biggest economic investments we can make in our nation is in our extraordinary arts heritage. That’s why, as part of our package for the Northern Powerhouse, we have backed The Factory with significant investment because we know it will provide an outstanding new arts venue to be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds for generations to come.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The importance of The Factory cannot be overstated. It will be of international significance, the cultural anchor for the next phase of economic and cultural regeneration in Manchester, Greater Manchester and beyond. It will help power Manchester and the wider region towards becoming a genuine cultural and economic counterbalance to London, as well as being a place where inspirational art is created.”

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