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Salford Quays

Imperial War Museum North

Imperial War Museum North, Daniel Libeskind

Salford Quays forms one of the largest urban renewal projects in the Britain. The site is home to Imperial War Museum North, the Lowry Centre, and MediaCity.

The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, covering 35.5 miles and allowing vessels to reach the city outskirts. The canal was a terrific engineering achievement, enabling 12500 tonne vessels  miles passage from  the Mersey Estuary. At the advent of containerisation, industrial activity declined steeply, with the docks closing in 1982. Unlike Liverpool, the Manchester Docks lacked buildings of architectural merit or potential for conversion. Salford Council purchased 90 Hectares of dockyard, with a development plan for the area released in 1985.

Salford Quays

The Lowry Centre, Salford Quays

The Lowry Centre, a landmark arts and theatre venue, opened in 2000. Designed by James Stirling and Michael Wilford, the complex has over-tones of a liner, reflects the surrounding landscape and waterways. The building occupies the area of five football pitches, has several auditoriums and a gallery promoting the artist LS Lowry. Imperial War Museum North (Daniel Libeskind, 2002) represents a world shattered by war. The resulting shards, earth, air and water, house a large open exhibition space, cafe and 29 m high viewing platform. Collections chart military history from the First World War to the present day, including Iraq and Afghanistan. The Big Picture Show is a film projected throughout the gallery at regular intervals, providing a different perspective on the personal impact of war.


MediaCity, Salford Quays

MediaCity UK is the result of an ambition to make Salford a centre of excellence for the creative industries and digital media. The principle occupant is BBC North, which attempts to readdress the southern bias of program production. The new centre opened in 2011 and will create 2300 jobs. BBC Sport, BBC Breakfast, Children’s content, Radio 5 Live, BBC Learning and Future media are all departments that have moved to the three buildings leased by Peel Media. Programmes such as Match of the Day, Blue Peter and Dragon’s den are now made at BBC North. The project cost under £200 million, and includes outdoor event’s space for 5000 people.

Mark Radcliffe and Stewart Maconie are two of the new tenants at MediaCity. The much-loved broadcasting duo moved to digital radio station 6Music in 2011, and began presenting the afternoon show. We are regular listeners in the University of Edinburgh architecture workshop!


Robert at MediaCity UK

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