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Citizens Design Bureau wins Manchester Jewish Museum contest

Manchester Jewish Museum. Image by Rept0n1x
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Citizens Design Bureau (CDB) has been chosen for a £2.8 million refurbishment and extension of the Manchester Jewish Museum

The London practice – working with engineers BuroHappold and exhibition designers All Things Studio – defeated an unnamed shortlist of firms to win the prestigious £387,909 commission.

The firm is headed by Katy Marks who was the project architect on Haworth Tompkins’ Stirling Prize-winning Liverpool Everyman Theatre, and was also nominated for Emerging Woman Architect of the Year in 2015.

Planned to complete in 2020, the project will create galleries, learning areas and events spaces in an extension to the Cheetham Hill Road synagogue.

The scheme will also restore the Grade II*-listed Moorish Revival building. Constructed in 1874, the Edward Salomons-designed structure is understood to be city’s oldest surviving synagogue.

Originally used by a Sephardic congregation of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, the red-brick structure was transformed into a museum in 1983 and receives around 15,000 visitors a year.

The museum’s proposed new visitor experience – focusing on Jewish immigration, integration and identity in the city since 1780 – is expected to attract 50,000 visitors annually.

The project will also include a new gallery dedicated to Holocaust refugees who settled in Manchester.

Museum chief executive Max Dunbar said: ‘We’ve selected a creative team of architects and designers with valuable experience working on major cultural projects, both nationally and internationally.

‘We’re particularly excited by this combination of creativity and experience and are confident this team will help us realise our vision to create a celebratory, vibrant and inspirational museum, bringing people of all faiths, backgrounds and ages together.

CDB director  Marks commented: ‘We’re really looking forward to working on such a fascinating project – engaging imaginatively with issues of immigration, innovation and respectful diversity.

‘By creating a new building as well as renovating the existing Grade II* Listed synagogue, there is enormous scope for a really special destination on the Manchester cultural scene. Credit also to the clients for selecting the team based on our approach rather than asking for completed designs up front.’

Ursula McGeoch of CDB previously worked on the Jewish Museum London with Long and Kentish Architects.



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