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RIBA chooses Mann Island 'carbuncle' for northern base

Architecture centre of excellence to house gallery, cafe, offices

Published on October 25th 2013.

RIBA chooses Mann Island 'carbuncle' for northern base

THE Royal Institute of British Architects will be opening an architecture centre at the controversial Mann Island development in late 2014.

It will sit at the heart of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and provide galleries, office facilities for RIBA staff in the North West, office and conference spaces, a café and shop. 

The Mann Island development, designed by Broadway Maylan for Neptune Developments, was last year shortlisted for the Carbuncle Cup, which celebrates bad architecture, by BD Online. 

It was described by BD as wrist-slashingly awful and “a scheme that completes the desecration of that city’s once great waterfront”. 

But having none of it, RIBA says the centre will “help visitors to discover, participate in and be inspired by architecture”. 

RIBA, the professional body for architects in the UK,  says the site was selected as the home for the centre after a lengthy independent study of potential locations across the UK, and “following extensive engagement with key public and private sector stakeholders from across the region”.


It will host a programme of activities aimed at families and professionals alike, it will become a focal point for architecture and design in the North West region. 

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said: “The RIBA is committed to engaging the public with architecture and we are delighted to be able to have a permanent base in Liverpool that will allow us to share our exhibitions and collections outside of London.

"The prominent high-footfall location of our new public gallery at Mann Island, next to the Three Graces, the new Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool One and the attractions of the Albert Dock will help us to reach a much wider audience in the North West. The new facilities, alongside conference and desk space for our staff and others, will mean we can offer even greater support to all our members in the region.” 

Robert Hough, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The LEP was pleased to support this project from its inception and we are delighted to see it finally come to fruition. The fact that RIBA have chosen to establish their architecture centre here speaks volumes for Liverpool's standing in the architectural world and I am sure it will be a place of pilgrimage for architects from all over the world.”

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Paul WardOctober 25th 2013.

RIBA taking the p*ss! Show a view from another angle - one that shows how this appalling set of buildings was squeezed into a gap that didn't exist to the detriment of the whole.

Owen HumphreysOctober 25th 2013.

So which of the three buildings is going to be the home of RIBA?

Jerry BuilderOctober 26th 2013.

Didn't RIBA have offices in Fleet Street?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 26th 2013.

Yes, in the Tea factory

AnonymousNovember 26th 2013.

There was supposed to be a Raymond Blanc restaurant here. That scheme has disappeared down the plughole. Maybe Mann Island is too posh for Mr Blanc. Blancs people it is deffo not happening in this location. Maybe a Wimpy Bar then.

AcanthophyllumNovember 28th 2013.

Another feather in Liverpool's cap, whatever you think of the building(s). It's worth recalling the fate of Fortress House in London's Savile Row, formerly the home of English Heritage - and now demolished. Is this what Private Eye would call the Curse of Gnome?

Anthony SchumacherNovember 28th 2013.

I suppose from their point of view if they are inside they don't have to look at them.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 28th 2013.

Ha ha ha!

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