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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It’s worth noting this isn’t the final design but this facility will be world class. There will be nothing like it outside of the capital.

By Yarrum

Still not really sure what’s going in there, other than the bi-annual overpriced MIF

By James

That’s terrible. It’s a box with a blob on the front.

By Linden

Bridgewater Hall, Home, Lowry Theatre. O2Apollo , Opera House ,Palace Theatre, The Arena this is just what the City needs . I mean really does it ??. £100m Mmmmmmm !!!!!

By Roberto

Looks like they’re planning to narrow the Irwell by about half…..!

By Penry

Apparently it is to straddle Water Street with a tunnel underneath for traffic.Looks amazing.It will have a riverside entrance too.Manchester is going into orbit.There is no reason why annual awards cannot be held there like the BAFTAS,Brits,etc.Manchester needs to stop thinking North and start thinking international now.

By Elephant

Yeah, that riverside entrance is going to be really well used.

There’s no reason the BAFTAs can’t be held at the Arena either. But they aren’t.

By James

James must be a Yorkshireman.He is never happy.

By Elephant

Of course I’m wrong to think this place will ever be fully filled. It will be filled with hot air.

By James