Case study:

Central Library

SpaceInvader was appointed by Liverpool-based architects, Ryder, to support them in the delivery of the interior aspects of an extensive refurbishment of Manchester Central Library.

This saw the team lead the interior briefings, co-ordinate the stakeholder engagement programme and develop all elements of the scheme from finishes and furniture to bespoke joinery and lighting solutions.

We have worked with SpaceInvader since 2010 on a number of projects across various sectors; education, commercial and mixed use. They are always a pleasure to work with.

We have worked with SpaceInvader since 2010 on a number of projects across various sectors; education, commercial and mixed use. They are our preferred consultant due to their talent, professionalism, dedication and service. They work hard to build relationships which become the conduit for understanding, leading to great design. They are always a pleasure to work with.

SpaceInvader are our preferred consultant due to their talent, professionalism, dedication and service. They work hard to build relationships which become the conduit for understanding, leading to great design. They are always a pleasure to work with.

— Ian Kennedy, Partner, Ryder Architecture

The brief for the internal environments was to maintain, restore and reuse as many original features as possible; to reinstate heritage materials where appropriate and for new materials to only be used as a secondary feature to compliment the original architecture. The overall aim was to create a world-class library complex that the people of Manchester would love to visit and be really proud of.

Key aspects of the design solution include bespoke joinery pieces, a selection of British designed and manufactured loose furniture, and tailored acoustic panelling that depict old maps of Manchester, which were taken from the Library’s archive. In the reference library, high density shelving has been broken up by small pockets of quiet space, each one individually designed to reflect an area of Manchester, for example, mosaics are used as floor finishes to represent the Northern Quarter.

Manchester Central Library re-opened in the summer of 2014 to widespread acclaim and more than 5,000 Mancunians visited on the first day. The £48m project, which took three years to complete, saw the Grade II* building’s original features restored and over 21,000 sq ft of additional library space created.

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