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Ryder unveils Manchester Central Library revamp

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Ryder Architecture has completed the £40 million refurbishment of Manchester’s Grade II* listed central library

The refurbished Neo-Classical library, which was designed by E Vincent Harris and completed in 1934, opened to the public last Saturday (22 March).

Internally the building has been rationalised with four storeys of book stacks and the floors they supported removed from the core of the building. In this space a public reading room and archive search room has been created on the ground floor, which is lit through an opening to the Great Hall above, one of several historic rooms that has been refurbished.

The ground floor also contians the refurbished Shakespeare Hall, an interactive exhibition space and a new café..

Vertical circulation has been inserted to link all levels with original panelled committee rooms on the second floor converted into a suite of flexible meeting rooms while staff work areas and a north facing conservation studio space are on the third floor.

The project forms part of the wider refurbishment of Manchester’s Town Hall complex, which includes Ian Simpson Architects’ contentious Library Walk link building, renovation of the Town Hall Extension building and public realm works in St Peter’s Square.

Project data

Client Manchester City Council
Architect Ryder Architecture
Contractor Laing O’Rourke
M&E services NG Bailey
Structural engineer URS
M&E engineer BDP
Heritage advisor HOK
Cost consultant Davis Langdon
Form of contract NEC3 Option C - Target Cost
Funding Manchester City Council
Contract sum circa £40,000,000
Gross internal area 12,500m²

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