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Imperial War Museum North – Competition to Develop External Spaces

The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester seeks design proposals for external spaces. The competition is open to architects and landscape architects.

Imperial War Museum North is about people and their stories, about how lives have been and still are, shaped by war and conflict. The museum is located in Trafford in the rapidly developing Quays regeneration area, and with the development of MediaCity:uk on the Quays there is an opportunity to capitalise on the international focus that will soon be on the area and to create a distinctive destination and context for the museum.

The external spaces at Imperial War Museum North must enhance the museum by reflecting its key message that war shapes lives, against its dramatic exterior, enhancing and expanding the visitor experience to beyond the walls of the internal spaces. There is an opportunity to do something dramatic and spectacular that will at the same time integrate with the extraordinary content and design of Libeskind’s iconic building.

RIBA Adviser for the competition Maggie Mullan said “This is a unique opportunity to create a singular landscape for this singular building, responding to the changing physical, social and cultural context and enhancing the visitor experience of the Imperial War Museum North.”

IWM North Director, Jim Forrester, added: “Our stunning Libeskind building continues to generate much interest and argument, and now, with the next phase of the Quays regeneration underway, we are ready to make more of its setting. The challenge is to make the outside areas of the museum as striking, memorable and rewarding as the building and its displays already are. To achieve this we are looking for remarkable designers with ideas which will give even more substance to our mission”.

The competition will follow a two stage process, which at stage one invites expressions of interest. A shortlist will be chosen and invited to produce concept designs.

Anyone interested in being considered should contact the RIBA Competitions Office for a preliminary briefing paper. This can be downloaded from The deadline for expressions of interest is Thursday 23rd October 2008.

For further press information about Imperial War Museum North contact Gemma Gibb on 0161 836 4041

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