A winner has been announced for the competition to design an extension to the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery - MUMA. Originally the competition had attracted over 130 entries from a number of internationally acclaimed practices. MUMA (McInnes, Usher, McKnight Architects) have been selected for the £12million extension with plans being worked up during the early part of 2010 to form part of Whitworth’s Heritage Lottery Fund bid.
Chancellor of the University of Manchester Tom Bloxham (or Urban Splash fame) chaired the judging panel and whilst calling all of the shortlisted designs “outstanding” said that “MUMA’s design shone in its thoughtful and sensitive response to a complex brief.” He went on to say that “Amongst many delightful touches the prospect of visiting a cafe in the tree canopy was particularly enjoyed, along with many further connections between gallery and surrounding park landscape. MUMA demonstrated care not only in the development of new designs but also in their consideration of improvements to the existing building.”
MUMA’s proposal includes an art garden, second entrance, a new informal café, a landscape gallery and a study area that will allow visitors and researchers to get closer to the collections when they are not on public display.
The practices most recent work includes working on a £30 million overhaul of the Renaissance and Medieval gallerys of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.