Home, the £25m cultural venue at First Street North in Manchester, was officially opened by Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, and film director Danny Boyle at a launch event yesterday evening attended by hundreds of members of the public.
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Designed by Mecanoo Architects and built by Wates Construction, Home is the cultural anchor at Ask Property Development's £500m First Street scheme and is the product of a merger between the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company.
The building includes theatre, cinema, art gallery, bars, restaurants and studio space. The scheme was funded by £19m from Manchester City Council and £5m from the Arts Council England.
Speaking outside Home, Leese said: "This is a complex unlike any other in the country. Faced with so many cuts, you could ask why we continue to invest in the arts. This venue has massively supported the regeneration of this area that was once derelict, the creative arts are a big employer and we need to support that. And ultimately, who would want to live in a city that has no arts and culture?"
Home patron Boyle said that he was "proud to be associated with somewhere that puts such a high value on culture".
The launch marked the start of the 'HOMEwarming' weekend of events, which includes the opening night of Home's first theatre production The Funfair, art exhibition The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, film showings, talks and workshops.
Alongside Home, the recently completed first phase of the £500m First Street includes the Melia INNSIDE hotel designed by SimpsonHaugh & Partners, a 279-room Vita luxury student accommodation scheme by 5plus Architects, a 700-space Q-Park multi-storey car park, the 180,000 sq ft Number One First Street office and nine retail, leisure and food units fronting a public square by Planit-IE.
Ask Property Developments announced last week that it had sold the scheme to European real estate investment company Patrizia Immobilien AG for an undisclosed sum.
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Photography by Chris Payne