Muma The Whitworth University of Manchester RIBA

Sport & Wellness, Gallery, University,


The design by architecture studio Muma is one of the six finalists of the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015. It has been called “a design for all seasons” in which art, nature and architecture combine.

Muma The Whitworth University of Manchester RIBA

In February 2015 the Whitworth Gallery was opened after works to extend and renovate the building by theMUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects) architecture studio. The design won the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2015 and after having won the regional and national title at the Riba Awards, is one of the six finalists for theRIBA Stirling Prize 2015.
The concept of “a gallery in the park” is the basis of this design by MUMA. The new building emerges gradually from the end of the original 19th century building to then develop autonomously towards the outside: it is part of the whole, but at the same time has a recognisable individuality.
The extension of theWhitworth Galleryand the café blend with the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Park, the structural fittings seem to dissolve and the internal spaces become an integral part of the nature of the park and vice versa.

In the historic building, the architects decided to demolish some additions made to the structure in the '60s and restore the original spaces. For example, the false ceiling of a large room was removed to reveal wooden trusses and 19th century decorations. The room, without the false ceilings, can now be seen in all its imposing Victorian glory and will be used for conferences and educational spaces.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Design: Muma (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects) http://muma.co.uk/
Location: Manchester UK
Images courtesy of Riba, ph. Alan Williams



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