Lowry Centre Manchester, Salford Building, Picture, Architect, Photo, Design
Lowry Centre, Manchester
Salford Quays Building, England – design by James Stirling Michael Wilford & Associates
12 Aug 2006
Lowry Centre Salford Quays
Location: Salford, west of Manchester
Address: Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ, UK
Date built: 2000
Lowry Centre, Salford Quays
James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates Ltd completed as Michael Wilford and Partners Ltd then Bain + Bevington Architects Ltd
The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex on Pier 8 at Salford Quays, in Salford, Greater Manchester. It is named after the early 20th-century painter, L. S. Lowry, known for his simple paintings of industrial scenes in North West England. The complex was officially opened on 12 October 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.
To redevelop the derelict Manchester Docks, Salford City Council developed a regeneration plan in 1988 for the brownfield site highlighting the leisure, cultural and tourism potential of the area, and included a flagship development that would involve the creation of a performing arts centre. The initial proposals were for two theatres and an art gallery on a prominent site on Pier 8.
Between 1990 and 1991 an architecture competition was launched and architects James Stirling Michael Wilford Associates was selected. After the death of James Stirling in June 1992 Michael Wilford continued the project. Funding was secured in 1996 and The Lowry Trust became responsible for the project which comprised The Lowry Centre, the plaza, a footbridge, a retail outlet shopping mall and Digital World Centre. The National Lottery provided over £21m of funding towards its construction. The project was completed at a cost of £106m. The Lowry name was adopted in honour of the local artist, L. S. Lowry.
The complex is close to the Imperial War Museum North and the Old Trafford football stadium. It is served by the MediaCityUK stop on the Metrolink tram network. It has been Greater Manchester’s most visited tourist attraction in various years.
Ground breaking took place on 19 June 1997. The Lowry is built on a triangular site at the end of Pier 8 and has a triangular plan. A promenade encircling the building provides views of the Manchester Ship Canal, MediaCityUK and the Salford Quays developments.
The foyer faces the public plaza, where there is a large aerofoil canopy at the entrance clad with perforated steel and illuminated from inside at night. Much of the building is clad in stainless steel and glass.
The Lowry was described as “not quite ‘Salford’s Guggenheim’ … It is ultimately too small and too well behaved … although there are obvious shared aims”, a reference to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which was built for similar reasons.
The Lowry footbridge spanning the ship canal was designed and project managed by Parkman, with design support from Carlos Fernandez Casado. It is a lift bridge with a clear span of 100m (330ft), which lifts vertically to provide a 26m (85ft) clearance for shipping using the canal. The bridge span is a tied arch and the towers are constructed in tubular steelwork to provide an open aspect to view the lifting counterweight and sheaves.
Lowry Centre Photos © Adrian Welch / Isabelle Lomholt
Other examples of Manchester Architecture welcome
Lowry Centre architects – James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates Ltd
Lowry Centre design : James Stirling
Lowry Centre images available upon request: photos 1280×1024 pixels, 72dpi
Location: Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ, Northwest England, UK
Contemporary Manchester Buildings
Manchester Architecture Designs – chronological list
Media CityUK – B4 Building, Salford Quays
Media CityUK Building
Comments / photos for the Lowry Centre Manchester page welcome
Website: Lowry Centre