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Austin-Smith:Lord unveils People's History Museum overhaul

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[FIRST LOOK] Austin-Smith:Lord (ASL) has completed its £12.5 million redevelopment and extension of The People’s History Museum in Manchester

The scheme which was officially opened last week features a new ‘dramatic’ five-storey Cor-ten clad addition linked to the existing, historic Pump House building.

ASL was appointed in early 2004 to lead a multi-disciplinary design team to consolidate the museum’s two operational sites in Manchester into one location and subsequently bagged an OJEU to take the design forward in May 2007.

The house an ‘internationally important collection’ which includes the Labour Party archive, along with collections of the Trades Union Congress, Communist Party of Great Britain, Suffragists and Suffragettes and the co-operative movement.

Describing the scheme, a spokesman for the practice said: ‘In developing a masterplan for the expanded museum the successful balance of use between new and old buildings was a key aim. Providing the majority of close-conditioned space and visitor facilities in the new extension has allowed the sensitive restoration of the key spaces within the historic building.

‘The Engine Hall has been stripped of its original shop and café intrusions to recover its dramatic volume and will now provide a multi-purpose space for daylight tolerant exhibitions, education and conference events.’

The scheme has been supported by a £7.18 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with £2 million from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Project Team

Architect: Austin-Smith: Lord
Project Manager: Paul Cleworth Project Management
Contractor: Wates Construction
Structural Engineer: Curtins
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Buro Happold
Quantity Surveyor: Simon Fenton Partnership

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