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Part 2 Project 1998
Justin Risley
Mackintosh School of Architecture, UK
The Manchester International Museum of Science and Industry

The Sir Joseph Whitworth Foundation

Machine Tool Museum

The making of machines to make machines

The Masterplan – MIMSI

Manchester’s history of international trade is due to the fact that it is a communications centre. It lies on the confluence of the Irwell, Irk, and Medlock and was therefore a natural Roman fort on the road between Chester and York and a meeting/market place for indigenous people walking down these river valleys from the Pennines.

The current home of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry in the north-west is in the nearby Liverpool Road, an excellent museum but it is cramped, far too small, embryonic. It should be looked upon as the embryo of a far greater and more important museum, expanded to several times its present size and renamed the ‘Manchester International Museum of Science and Industry’ - MIMSI - with the aspiration of becoming the world’s leading museum of science and industry; appropriate for the world’s first industrial city and giving added substance to this much-repeated phrase.

At present the artefact base is provincial/national; it should be developed by internationalising it. This internationalisation of MSIM into MIMSI would be stimulating for the development of Manchester’s contemporary science and industry.

The Site - Pioneer Wharf

To the South of the City Centre between the Railway Viaducts connecting into the old Central Station and the Rochdale Canal is an old Coal Wharf sunk below the street level of the Modern City. Located on the ancient Roman route of Deansgate, the main street that connected the 10th Century Roman fort to the 15th Century Church (now Manchester Cathedral. An International Site with connections from Road, Rail, Metrolink (tram), and Canal. With the closure of Central Station and the consequent re-use as the Greater Manchester Exhibition Centre (GMEX) the Viaducts were no longer used as sidings. The vacant spaces that occupied the arches below were used as garages. This is a tremendous opportunity to use these relics of the industrial revolution. The possibility of connecting the masterplanned MIMSI sites by canal, enabling appreciation of the complexity and maturity of Manchester’s canal web, which was intrinsic to and essential for the functioning of the world’s first Industrial city.

A Museum that aims to show the relation between the small scale works of the Machine tool maker to the machines that they componentally made up. Re-establishing one of the great pioneers of the Industrial Revolution in Manchester and the greatest Mechanician Sir Joseph Whitworth. Combining a current educational institute with an International Museum, connecting the small scale with that of the large.

Justin Risley

The re-use of industrial wasteland has been a favourite topic for Diploma Thesis work at the ‘Mac’ for well over 15 years.

This student’s work deals with this topic in a forceful, direct manner utilising the existing debris as an armature to build around a very imaginative, appropriate solution. He backed this up with a technical study on an urban design project carried out in his Fourth Year. The technical study/ design in detail demonstrates this particular student’s highly developed ability to carry out imaginative and appropriate detailing of elements of a major building in an urban context.

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