Koolhaas’ OMA to design Manchester’s “Factory” arts venue

Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has won an international competition to design an arts venue in Manchester.

The project, to be called The Factory in honour of the late Tony Wilson’s Factory Records label, will be OMA’s first major public building in the UK.

The venue has a budget of $166m, $118m of which was pledged by the UK government in last year’s Autumn Statement as part of the Northern Powerhouse scheme.

The government has also pledged annual funding of $14m.

The Factory aims to be a flagship cultural centre for the north of England, commissioning original works in partnership with leading national and international organisations.

It will also host theatre, music, dance, technology, film and TV shows on multiple stages, and will be able to accommodate audiences of up to 7,000.

The venue will be based in Manchester’s St John’s development on the site of the former Granada TV Studios, where Wilson was employed as a presenter.

Chancellor George Osborne said: "One of the biggest economic investments we can make in our nation is in our extraordinary arts heritage.

"That’s why, as part of our package for the Northern Powerhouse, we have backed The Factory with significant investment because we know it will provide an outstanding new arts venue to be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds for generations to come."

Construction is due to begin in 2016 with completion in 2019.

Images via OMA

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