Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo, whose Library of Birmingham was nominated for the 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize, is strengthening its operations in Manchester. To direct a growing number of projects in the region, the practice has moved into a new, more spacious office on Princess Street. The expansion signals a deepened commitment to the Great Manchester area and the UK as a whole.
The expanded multidisciplinary UK team is led by partner architect Francesco Veenstra:
“International experience and local presence, fresh thinking and new ideas are embraced here in Manchester and the North West. We have found being based locally is essential to allow for a strong client engagement and collaboration. The North West has become a second home to Mecanoo.”
Founder and creative director Francine Houben:
“Mecanoo’s design approach is based on observing people in different cities, in different climates and cultures, anticipating unpredictable change. We aim to create identity in a world of globalization. With this approach we hope to continue our contribution to buildings and public space in the UK.”
The office is working on several key projects, including the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), Oldham’s Coliseum Theatre and Heritage Centre, key worker homes for University of Cambridge, and Hulme Private Rented homes. Mecanoo’s design for the public realm of NOMA was completed in 2012, whilst HOME at First Street is set to open in May 2015.
Francesco Veenstra and Ernst ter Horst, associate architect at the Manchester office, will represent Mecanoo at MIPIM next week. “Manchester's approach to events such as MIPIM enables networks to flourish and projects to happen. We’re happy to be part of that,” says Francesco Veenstra.
Mecanoo headquarters are located in Delft, the Netherlands. The practice also maintains offices in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Washington D.C., United States.