Architect Selected for Whitworth’s Building Designs

MUMA has been selected as the architectural practice who will shape the Whitworth Art Gallery’s vision for the future. The practice won this opportunity through a RIBA architectural competition held following Whitworth’s award of a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund, in February 2009. An initial field of over 130 competition entrants was narrowed to a shortlist of five firms that each submitted detailed designs. These were subject to public scrutiny as well as being considered in depth by the judging panel chaired by Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Tom Bloxham M.B.E.

MUMA will now work with the Whitworth on a detailed design of a new second entrance and extension for the gallery, connecting it more directly with Whitworth Park in which it is situated at the southern gateway of the University of Manchester campus. Plans for the development include an art garden and second entrance, a new informal ‘cafe in the trees’, a landscape gallery and  study area allowing visitors and researchers to get closer to the collections even when they are not on public display. Plans will be worked up during the next year and will be presented as part of the final stage of the Whitworth’s Heritage Lottery Fund bid in 2010.