Rem Koolhaas to Build Cultural Flagship for Manchester

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have won a competition to build a new arts centre in Manchester. The building is called The Factory, after the city’s record label of the same name.

This will be a large-scale project worth 150 million euros, two thirds of which will be paid by the British government, with the rest coming from the city of Manchester. The building forms part of the UK government’s ‘northern powerhouse’ initiative, seeking to draw international attention to Manchester to counterbalance the focus on London.

Manchest International Festival

The Factory will stand on the former site of Granada TV and serve as an extension of the successful Manchester International Festival, commissioning creative works by British and international artists as well as inviting guest works. The arts centre will bring together theatre, music, dance, technology, television, media and scientific innovation, providing space for nine thousand visitors at a time.

OMA won the commission against architect firms Zaha Hadid, Rafael Viñoly, Mecanoo and Grimshaw Architects. This is the company’s first major building project in the UK, having previously worked on a variety of international projects, including the China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing, Seattle Central Library and the Garage contemporary art gallery in Gorky Park, Moscow. Construction on The Factory is due to begin in 2016, finishing in 2019.

Read more about Koolhaas and OMA in this article from The Low Countries Yearbook.

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