HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, has been awarded the 2017 Civic Trust Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design. The building, designed by Mecanoo architecten and commissioned by Manchester City Council, received the prize for “demonstrating that consultation with disabled people and groups has co-produced design features that cater for a wide range of users without segregation.”
HOME has been designed to allow for the commissioning, production and hosting of critically engaged and technically complex artistic projects, as well as the hosting of large scale cultural events. Its striking exterior acts like beacon, while the welcoming public spaces and social areas within are designed so that HOME will be inviting to all: a place for making, meeting and socialising, alongside enjoying the very best in international contemporary visual art, theatre and film.
Becky Goldsmith, Selwyn Goldsmith Award Panel Member, said: “Manchester’s HOME is a magnificent example of a city-centre cultural and recreational hub. The city now has an exemplary venue for live performing arts which represents all that is meant by ‘Universal Design’ in its concepts and realisation. The cinemas, theatres, performance spaces and all public areas demonstrate complete understanding of universal needs. In practice this means that the demands of everyday baby-management are as efficiently met as provision of perfect access for those with mobility and sensory problems. This achievement is an ideal embodiment of Selwyn's universal ethos.”
Francesco Veenstra, Partner at Mecanoo architecten, said: “Universal design is about making buildings safe and convenient for use by everybody. It is about creating spaces where many identities, ideas and interests can boundlessly flourish. HOME is not just about the fantastic theatre spaces, cinemas and gallery, but also the social space, the restaurant, bar, and terrace. It’s a building made of concrete, timber, glass and metal with a lighting design that creates a great atmosphere. Most of all, it’s a building for people – all people.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “HOME was made for everyone to enjoy and one of our key ambitions therefore was that it should be accessible to all. With over 1,000,000 visits in its first year of opening, it’s clearly a venue that audiences have taken to their hearts, so it’s great news that its accessibility has also now been recognised in this way. Proof too that if anyone with access needs hasn’t yet made a visit then there really is nothing to stop you going along and enjoying everything this world-class venue has to offer.”
Dave Moutrey, Director & Chief Executive of HOME, said: “Throughout the design process our aim was to create a HOME for everyone, so being the recipient of this prestigious award feels particularly special. Working on this project with the City Council and Mecanoo has been an enjoyable, productive and fruitful experience and I strongly believe that we have succeeded in creating a space that welcomes audiences, supports and furthers creativity and presents international thought-provoking work from the world of theatre, visual art and film.”
The Selwyn Goldsmith Award, named after the founding figure of universal design, recognises and rewards buildings or spaces that have been designed to ensure they consider the needs of all users, are safe and convenient for everybody, including disabled people. The award is presented yearly by the Civic Trust Awards and is sponsored by Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
HOME has won numerous awards, including the 2016 RIBA National Award. Mecanoo was previously awarded the Selwyn Goldsmith Award for the Library of Birmingham in 2015.