Lights, camera, action for Cornerhouse as refurb begins

Work is underway to convert Manchester’s iconic Cornerhouse building into the temporary home of Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) School of Theatre.

Preston-based architectural and planning consultancy, Cassidy + Ashton, has designed the refurbishment scheme and successfully secured change of use planning consent for the new MMU facility, which will also be used as teaching/seminar space for other subject groups.

The move follows MMU’s decision to rent the building while its existing Mabel Tylecote Building is demolished and redeveloped.

Main contractor, Morgan Sindall, has started on site and work is expected to complete in September.

The news has been welcomed by the legion of arts enthusiasts who were concerned for the future of the Cornerhouse complex following the move of the re-branded ‘HOME’ visual arts, cinema and theatre organisation to a new purpose-built multi-arts centre in April.

Dan Brown, associate architect at Cassidy + Ashton, said:

“The Cornerhouse commands a prominent location on the junction of Oxford Road and Whitworth Street and is also conveniently positioned close to much of MMU’s existing city centre campus.”

“The refurbishment includes seminar spaces and office accommodation for academic staff in addition to acting studios and additional space for specialist film and media facilities.”

“What it means for the building is that the proposed refurbishment will be in-keeping with the Cornerhouse’s previous use, maintaining this important piece of Manchester’s heritage while helping to deliver its original aims of promoting contemporary arts to new audiences in a fresh way.”