OMA completes aviva studios, factory international's cultural hub in manchester

OMA completes aviva studios, factory international's cultural hub in manchester

the new Home of Factory International

 

OMA, led by architect Ellen van Loon, completes Aviva Studios, Home of Factory International in Manchester — the firm’s first public project in the UK. This multipurpose cultural venue serves as the permanent residence of Factory International, the organization behind the biannual Manchester International Festival (MIF), which will commission, produce and present a year-round program.

The 13,350-square-meter building has been designed to cater to a need for total flexibility and adaptability. It is the first venue of its kind in the UK, and one of the largest and most ambitious of such developments in Europe. It is capable of hosting both artistic performances and exhibitions of various scales — immersive gallery exhibitions, theater productions, intimate concerts, raves — separately or at once. See designboom’s previous coverage here!

oma aviva studios manchester
Aviva Studios marks OMA’s first public project in the UK | images © Marco Cappelletti

 

 

key elements of the design by oma

 

The team at OMA is led by Ellen Van Loon, whose design for Aviva Studios is centered around large, open, flexible spaces that will continuously adapt and reconfigure to meet the requirements of work created and presented in the building. Key elements include the Warehouse — measuring 33 meters wide, 64 meters long and 21 meters high — the ultimate flexible performance space, with a theatre grid spanning the entirety of the area. The Warehouse features two supersized moveable ‘Multiwalls’ which enable an almost limitless number of configurations within the expansive space. Plugged into the Warehouse is the Hall, a 1,600 seat auditorium with a flexible stage, able to accommodate ballet, theater, music, and cross-art performances. The Hall and the Warehouse can work in tandem, allowing the stage to extend deep into the warehouse.

oma aviva studios manchester
Aviva Studios is a multipurpose cultural hub that serves as the permanent home of Factory International

 

 

Aviva studios is Rooted in Manchester’s History

 

The Aviva Studios site is representative of the industrial and cultural history of Manchester, referenced in OMA’s design through its use of corrugated metal and rough concrete. The building is lifted over Water Street and incorporates the 19th century arches from the Pineapple railway. Typically, venues of this size are relegated to the outskirts due to noise concerns. However, by enclosing the structure with dual layers of concrete and employing advanced acoustic techniques, the highest sound insulation was achieved, allowing the building to be part of the city center.

oma aviva studios manchester
the Hall, a 1,600 seat auditorium with a flexible stage, accommodates ballet, theater, and music performances

 

 

Ellen van Loon, architect of the building, envisions this structure as a versatile stage for cultural expression.I’ve worked on numerous theaters and performance spaces, but none compare to this one in terms of what it offers to performers,’ she says. ‘This venue serves as a platform, unlocking the full potential of the performing arts. All too often, abandoned post-industrial buildings and neighborhoods are erased from the map, and with them the creative scenes that once thrived within them. This building reinstates what was lost.’

oma aviva studios manchester
the Warehouse, the ultimate flexible performance space, hosts a full-spanning theater gridOMA completes aviva studios, factory international's cultural hub in manchester
the building is rooted in Manchester’s industrial history, shown with corrugated metal and rough concrete

OMA-ellen-van-loon-aviva-studios-factory-international-manchester-designboom-06a

large, open spaces will continuously adapt and reconfigure to meet flexible requirements

OMA completes aviva studios, factory international's cultural hub in manchester
opening performance, ‘Free Your Mind’ by Danny Boyle

OMA-ellen-van-loon-aviva-studios-factory-international-manchester-designboom-08a

opening performance, ‘Free Your Mind’ by Danny Boyle

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