Nearly HOME: Aerial photos reveal development of Cornerhouse’s new location already well underway

By Tim Hyde

Aerial photos over Manchester have revealed the development of the city’s future contemporary arts haven is already underway – what will be Cornerhouse’s new ‘HOME’ in 2015.

The images show that the building named HOME is starting to take shape as the £25million redevelopment, of the 20-acre site on First Street will become the Manchester hub for contemporary arts.

Due to continued growth, Cornerhouse directors realised they would need a new building and a long-term plan to cope with the amount of visitors enjoying facilities each year.

HOME’s Clare Sydney said: “The current Cornerhouse building, leased from the council for a peppercorn rent, isn’t really coping with the 500,000 people who visit each year and the cinemas and galleries don’t do justice to the work we’re showing.

“The more successful we become, the more people attend, the more the visitor experience degrades.”

Designed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo, the venue will feature a 500-seat theatre, a 150-seat flexible studio space, five cinema screens, digital production and broadcast facilities.

Now well into construction, HOME is set to be a more eco-friendly building which meets Manchester City Council’s policy for low carbon development policy.

Ms Sydney said: “The new building will be energy efficient and keep our utilities costs and environmental impact down.

“We’ll have a Building Management System which will allow us to ensure the operation of the building is controlled, monitored and adjusted to ensure it’s running at peak efficiency.”

Many of the aspects that made Cornerhouse a city favourite will be brought to the new complex with the new building including an even bigger café.

HOME will also play host to the Library Theatre Company who merged with Cornerhouse in April 2012.

Both firms have since been working together at the current location on Oxford Street which has become expensive to maintain.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “First Street North is gaining real momentum as a magnet for investment and job creation.

“We’ve been talking for some time about the huge potential of this site but it’s no longer an abstract, there is now real physical evidence of its future as a vibrant addition to Manchester City Centre.”

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