Imperial War Museum competition near conclusion

Michael Hunt

The five shortlisted design proposals to develop the external spaces of Manchester's Imperial War Museum North will be on view to visitors from Friday this week.

The shortlisted designs will be on display in the WaterShard Cafe between 10am and 5pm daily until Wednesday 25 February.

Visitors will be asked to complete feedback forms to give their views, which, together with further research, will help inform a judging panel.

The panel is made up of representatives from the RIBA and IWMN, who will meet in March.

The designs are initial concepts only and once a final proposal is selected IWMN will begin the task of fundraising and seeking partners to create the project.

Work on the museum, located in Trafford in the rapidly developing Quays regeneration area, is expected to be complete before the opening of Media City UK in 2011.

The five shortlist teams were selected from over 50 architects and landscape architects, which submitted initial proposals last September.

The shortlisted architects include London-based firms Kinnear Landscape Architects and Patel Taylor Architects, with Swedish practice White Arkitekter AB, German-based Topotek 1 and Field Operations, from New York in America, the other chosen finalists.

Maggie Mullan, RIBA's adviser for the competition, said: "This is a unique opportunity to create a singular landscape for this singular building, responding to the changing physical, social and cultural context and enhancing the visitor experience of the Imperial War Museum North."

Jim Forrester, director at Imperial War Museum North, added: "Our stunning Libeskind building continues to generate much interest and argument. Now, with the next phase of the Quays regeneration underway, we are ready to make more of its setting."

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