OMA wins international competition to design flagship arts centre for Manchester


Rem Koolhaas’ Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has won an international competition to design its first major public building in the UK, The Factory Manchester.

Set out to become a major new theatre and arts venue, The Factory will be able to host multiple performances simultaneously while accommodating up to 7,000 visitors.

“The Factory will make and present a wide range of art forms and culture, incorporating theatre, music, dance, technology, film, TV, media and live relays, scientific advancements and the connections between all of these – under one roof,” said a statement by the architects.


The Factory, Manchester by OMA

“The Factory will build on the success of the Manchester International Festival and create innovative commissions all year round, playing a significant role in the next phase of economic and cultural evolution in the North,” it adds.

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

The Factory, Manchester by OMA

No further details have been revealed about the design of the project however the available renders of the project shows an elevated glass cube with a sliding door that is seemingly accessed through a giant flight of steps.

A multi-faceted protrusion can also been seen extending out from one side of the main building.

The Factory, Manchester by OMA

“I am delighted that we have won the competition to design The Factory and look forward to realising this radical arts building for Manchester. It is wonderful to participate in the long-standing renaissance of the city, and particularly the Festival, where real experimentation is expected”, said Rem Koolhaas, founder of OMA.

The Factory will form a part of the new St John’s neighbourhood, which is being developed by Allied London in partnership with Manchester City Council, on the site of the former Granada TV Studios.

“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,” said Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council.

“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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