Library development plans unveiled by Manchester Metropolitan University

Plans to develop an impressive new campus library in the heart of the city have been unveiled by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Proposals for the landmark development would see the current library at All Saints on Oxford Road replaced with a modern and dynamic learning environment that places students and their learning at its core.

The University has submitted a planning application for the visionary library which will help Manchester to retain its status as a choice destination for students.

The project will create a library fit for the 21st century and is a central part of the University’s strategy to deliver excellent education for its students, and research that makes a difference to the community and world.

The iconic new building would feature digitally enabled teaching and research facilities to enhance students’ data science and analytical skills, flexible break-out spaces to support collaboration and nurture ideas, and a new home for the Manchester Poetry Library, the North West’s first public poetry library. It will also house a new gallery and event spaces designed for both public and University use.

Professor Karen Moore, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Met, said: “As an ambitious University, we are committed to providing a truly modern campus here in the city centre for our students, colleagues and the community.

“The library plans demonstrate our continued commitment to invest in impactful research and outstanding education, adding to the exceptional facilities and extensive redevelopment that has taken place across our campus over recent years. The new library will reimagine what a university library can offer and will build on Manchester Metropolitan University’s rich 200-year history of education and research.”

Rachel Beckett, Director of Library and Cultural Services at Manchester Met, added: “Our new library will be welcoming and inclusive, fostering community and belonging. It will draw people in and stimulate the creation, discovery and sharing of knowledge, collaboration and experimentation. It’s a tremendously exciting opportunity to transform the campus experience.”

‘As an ambitious University, we are committed to providing a truly modern campus here in the city centre for our students, colleagues and the community’

Professor Karen Moore, Chief Operating Officer

Architects Hawkins\Brown and Schmidt Hammer Lassen have been commissioned to design the new ionic building and visionary space which will create a new gateway to the University.

Christopher Seviour, Partner at Hawkins\Brown, said: “We were very conscious of designing a ‘living library’ where the book collection is only one of many services offered so that it gives students a reason to stay on campus and make the most out of their university experience. We have enjoyed collaborating with Schmidt Hammer Lassen to fuse the best of Mancunian and Scandinavian design sensibilities.”

Elif Tinaztepe, Principal Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen, added: “We reimagine the future library for Manchester Met as a dynamic landscape for making, reflecting, and innovating – a truly inclusive cultural space where students, academia and the city are invited to gather around shared interests to address the issues of the future.

“We wanted the building to communicate a generosity of spirit. Spaces of different character and identity flow naturally into one another, inviting the students to explore and curate their own experience on each visit. Working with the University, exploring Manchester Met’s unique place in the wider realm of academic libraries and how this might be reflected in the design has been a truly inspiring process.”

If the planning application is approved, work will start in summer 2024 with full completion by 2028.