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New Library Theatre/Cornerhouse Image Released

What do we think folks? Is this glimpse getting us excited?

Written by . Published on January 30th 2012.

New Library Theatre/Cornerhouse Image Released
A PLANNING application has been submitted to Manchester City Council for the major new cultural centre at First Street in Manchester city centre.
It's hoped the new cultural centre will act as a catalyst to the wider regeneration of the whole First Street site

This will be the new home for the merged Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company, subject to planning permission being granted. This page shows how it will look.

The plans for the 60,000 sq ft centre incorporate two theatres with seating capacities of 500 and 150 respectively, five cinema screens, together with galleries and restaurants, overlooking a new public space. The scheme architect is Mecanoo, which won an international design competition.

It's hoped the new cultural centre will act as a catalyst to the wider regeneration of the whole First Street site and its neighbourhood, bringing the area to life through increased footfall and helping create a strong sense of place.

First Street 'Cultural Centre'First Street 'Cultural Centre'

A separate planning application has also been submitted by Ask for a neighbouring 2.2 acre site in First Street North comprising a four-star hotel, 30,000 Sq ft of retail and leisure space, a budget hotel and a multi-storey car park.

A planning decision on the cultural centre is expected in April. Subject to planning permission being granted, work is expected to start on site later this year, with the new centre opening in late summer 2014. 

This should be a good year for cultural real estate in Manchester with Central Library due to re-open as well. Click here for the latest pictures from that project. 

When the full Mecanoo plans and images are released Confidential will follow-up with an article discussing their merit. The released image has a whiff of Hall, O'Donohue and Wilson's startling 1968 extension to the Liverpool Playhouse about it.

Liverpool PlayhouseLiverpool Playhouse

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22 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Debbie BridgeJanuary 30th 2012.

The proposed tram route down Deansgate would have made this area far more accessible

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2012.

Er... no, it wouldn't. Sounds like you need to check where this site is.

Calum McGJanuary 30th 2012.

Nearest tram stop is still Deansgate Castlefield - but a stone's throw from First Street (if you use the correct staircase).

John OwensJanuary 30th 2012.

It's across from Deansgate/Castlefield Metrolink Station, Deansgate train station and 5 minutes walk from Oxford Road train station. Hardly unaccessible.

Eddy RheadJanuary 30th 2012.

The tree in the foreground looks nice.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
tblzebraJanuary 30th 2012.

I like the flock of birds too.

Eddy RheadJanuary 30th 2012.

I like the pram. Looks like one of those nice Silver Cross ones.

Colin SwinneyJanuary 30th 2012.

Come on, take this seriously!! I want a red balloon too!!!

Dominic CardenJanuary 30th 2012.

..yes a nice red balloon tree!

Edwin LutyensJanuary 30th 2012.

I like how the people on the right bottom left are all staring at the building like it's the Great Pyramid of Giza

Simon TurnerJanuary 30th 2012.

We've seen buildings before, its the ideas and energies generated by the people working and using them that counts. Fingers crossed.

Eddy RheadJanuary 30th 2012.

"The released image has a whiff of Hall, O'Donohue and Wilson's startling 1968 extension to the Liverpool Playhouse about it."
Has a whiff of something about it, thats for sure.

Bar FlyJanuary 30th 2012.

By the look of it those birds are vultures wheeling over the corpse of the Cornerhouse's present home.

ShuttyJanuary 30th 2012.

Based solely on that image I think it looks good. A short, broad and curved over-hang, somewhat reminiscent of (or with a whiff of) No.1 The Avenue, juxtaposed with a long, narrower pointed over-hang.

I can't imagine any reason that I would stop going to see independent films in this attractive new building, so on the basis that other film fans in this sizeable city do the same and that the Library Theatre continues to attract crowds as they had done previously, I feel sure that this will be a successful transition and hopefully it will achieve the aim of invigorating life in to First St.

With the office block that is already built, forthcoming hotels and retail space for 2014, shouldn't this be being received more positively?

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2012.

These latter days I need full waterrproof gear to get there I think you need a taxi and I don't really fancy either Deansgate stations in the dark.

There must be a proper plan in the planning application showing the car parks coach stops etc. And will the retail include 'leisure' like the Printworks or Deansgate Locks?

The real problem is that is this an official Arts Centre type thing (bit last century) air lifted as it were to this location. It's not very Manc.. got no soul.

HowieJanuary 31st 2012.

Why do artists' impressions rarely show a new building's location in relation to existing structures and thoroughfares? It would certainly enhance the 'impression' if they did.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Stephen SmithFebruary 6th 2012.

I was thinking the same thing trying to picture exactly where it is going on the site

Jordan McDowellJanuary 31st 2012.

No, less concrete, more grass?! Wouldn't some grass verges be nice? eh? eh?

AnonymousFebruary 1st 2012.

why can't we get rid of the idea that glass is beautiful... they look horrendous, they are cheap with no class. manchester is now full of them and they continue to sprout more and more....... what happened to good architecture? when buildings represented culture, class, inheritance of a city .........

Ghostly TomApril 30th 2012.

I like the cinema and gallery complex where it is on Oxford Street. It's been there a long time and has a great atmosphere on a busy corner of the city on a major route from the university to the city centre. It seems to be a favourite haunt of the arts students and the city's arts community generally. It might be nice to have a smart new building on First Street but does anyone know what's going to happen to the buildings on Oxford Road? It would be a shame to lose them as an arts centre.

JamesJuly 24th 2012.

No, grass would not be nice. Have you seen Piccadilly Gardens? Hardscape for me, thanks. As for the whinge about glass - you have a point, Spinningfields is a 'shining' example of its over use. But don't forget that the original cornerhouse was glazed all round, which worked fantastically in its context of Oxford Road, creating a great place to sit and have a drink and watch the world go by, as well as infecting the road with its lively cafe atmosphere. I think the new glass responds to this history - I only hope it works as well in its context, and that First Street doesn't become as dull as Spinningfields. (Although to be fair Oast House does some cracking ales!)

Steve MartlewNovember 8th 2012.

Rather than decanting cinema and theatre to the rather bland First Street site I feel regret at the likely demise of Oxford Street as a traditional venue over the last 100 years for cinema and Theatre in Manchester-why not expand the Cornerhouse from its current base into the old Odeon Cinema?

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