Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios down to six in the RIBA Stirling Shortlist

A major extension to the Manchester School of Art by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has been selected as one of six projects shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architectural prize presented to the architects of a building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.

This major extension to the progressive Manchester School of Art, which began life in the 1830s provides an engaging environment for students and staff to work and study across a broad range of Arts disciplines. The project reinforces the profile of the Manchester School of Art and Manchester Metropolitan University and focuses on developing themes and spatial agendas around cross-disciplinary working and new pedagogical models for arts education.

A highly visible new Vertical Gallery space acts as a shop window providing a showcase for the School of Art to the wider City. Behind the gallery is a ‘hybrid’ studio of cascading, connected floor plates designed to break down traditional separations and foster creative interactions between disciplines.

Keith Bradley, Senior Partner of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said:

“The shortlisting of the Manchester School of Art for the Stirling Prize is for us a great acknowledgement of our work with an inspirational client – The Dean of the Art School and the Vice Chancellor of the University were an intrinsic part of the Creative Team that has delivered radical new approach to Arts teaching and learning. The resulting building is about facilitating the Arts by choreographing spaces that enable a culture of creative interaction between disciplines around dedicated and shared Studio Spaces. It also acts as a Showcase and Gallery for the Arts, particular as it transforms into Exhibition Space for the End of Year Show. Physically the Art School is an interpretation of the Arts and Crafts traditions of the material and making upon which the School was founded in the 19th Century.”

David Crow, Dean of Faculty and Pro-Vice-Chancellor said:

“We are really delighted with the news that Manchester School of Art has been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.

The starting point for this project was to design a 21st Century art school. The University encouraged the school to take a bold approach which we think will be a reference point for future art schools.

We wanted to challenge convention and create a place that would encourage cross disciplinary working, team projects and a more open and social approach to learning.

Our Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley have done a wonderful job of interpreting this vision and have worked very closely with our staff team to deliver a first class building that helps us to rethink our working practices.”

This is the latest in a number of Higher Education accolades for the practice. In 2013 FCB Studios picked up the Building Construction Industry Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award for Manchester Metropolitan University Business School & Student Hub, as well as the inaugural Sustainability Award for ‘The Hive’ (Worcester Library & History Centre) and most recently Manchester School of Art won the AJ100 Client Choice Award 2014.

The six RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted buildings are drawn from the RIBA National and EU Award Winners including world class architects Zaha Hadid Architects, Haworth Tompkins, O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects. Shortlisted schemes will feature on Channel Four on Thursday 16th October where the results will be announced live on air.