Home is where the art is for Manchester
When is a Cornerhouse a Home? When it’s converted to that name as Manchester’s brand-new production centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, formed by the merger of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company and based at First Street.
The name—which has already provoked a debate amongst the city’s Twitterati— has come out of one of those “detailed and collaborative research and consultation” processes, which involved more than 150 people including local residents, audience members and partners from across the city, as well as an online forum where people could contribute their thoughts.
They were asked about the cultural organisations they admire and enjoy, as well as what they feel the atmosphere and character of the new organisation should be. The results of the research contributed to choosing a name, but are also helping towards everything from programme development to interior design.
Home was a word which recurred often when people were asked what the new organisation should be—a second home, somewhere you feel at home, the home of great work. So it seemed to reflect the warmth felt towards Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, as well as meeting the aspiration that the new organisation should be accessible and welcoming.
“The name for the new organisation has been the subject of much discussion over the past few months. Our conversations with partners, residents and audience members threw up two contrasting aspirations for the future of the organisation—the friendly, warm and playful aspect is contained in the word ‘Home’. Alongside this, many of the people we spoke to wanted the new organisation to be somewhere that challenged them and made them think. This aspect will be further developed in our visual identity, as well as in our programming, which is now starting to take shape.” comments Dave Moutrey, director and chief executive of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This naming announcement is another milestone in the journey towards a new centre which will make a major contribution to the arts in Manchester, the UK and internationally. It’s going to be a catalyst to creative and economic growth, stimulating investment as well as imaginations.”
The design team led by Mecanoo was appointed early last year, developing the building’s design, seeking planning permission and completing the detailed design. Wates Construction have appointed architects _space architecture to complete the construction design, and Mecanoo will also oversee the design concept. Concrete Architectural Associates are working on the interior design.