The University of Manchester has launched a search for an architect to design and lead the construction of a 4,800 sq ft gallery for temporary exhibitions at the Manchester Musuem.
The project will see the museum expand within its existing footprint, into the courtyard off Coupland Street.
The university hopes to fund the £5m development through an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which it expects to submit next summer. Subject to funding, start on site is scheduled for 2016.
Nick Merriman, director of Manchester Museum, told Place North West: "We have been executing an update programme of one gallery a year for the last few years, and the time has come to focus on our temporary exhibition offer. Our current space is simply too small for a museum of our size, and we have had to turn down touring blockbuster exhibitions as we do not have the capacity.
"With the Whitworth Gallery doubling its exhibition space when it re-opens in the autumn, and MOSI also conducting an expansion programme, we need to keep in step. The size and ambition of Manchester needs a space to show natural science and artefact exhibitions of national importance, for the benefit of the entire region."
The appointed architect would take the role of design co-ordinator and contract administrator, and would guide the HLF grant application.
Ian Simpson Architects completed an extension programme for the museum in 2003, which saw the development of three additional galleries and a new entrance. This included 2,000 sq ft for temporary exhibitions.
Manchester Museum is the UK's largest university museum and attracts around 430,000 visitors each year. The site is situated on Oxford Road.
Architect practice Buttress has been overseeing the gallery refurbishment programme.
The deadline for receipt of tenders is 27 August 2014 at 2pm.