Completed in 2010 the Manchester Academy project was the culmination of a long relationship with the Students Union at Manchester University, it started with a toilet conversion in the basement of the old student union building and ended in a £3.8M refurbishment of their flagship venue space.
The old academy building was a big box, much loved by music fans for its raw experience, but lacking in accessibility, toilet facilities and good support spaces for the bands.
Our project grafted new elements of changing rooms and a disabled viewing platform onto the sides of the existing hall and introduced a new glazed tower which acts a beacon on the busy Oxford Road frontage. One of the biggest challenges as designers was to keep the venue open for as long as possible so much of the construction took place whilst the venue was still operating.
We are proud to have successfully delivered such large and complex project, which for an small, independent practice is a great achievement. We are grateful to the Manchester University Students Union for showing the confidence in us and knowing we could deliver.