Photos and Drawings


Site Photographs

  The images linked to the drawing below depict the ML site from key viewpoints. Also available are selected views of the immediate surroundings. Most files are 2-3 megs.
  west view princess
NOTE: Image files associated with the above map may require longer download times. If rollover function is not working, please click the "reload" button on your browser.

1:300 Site Model

  The images below depict the massing model prepared for the ML:IDEAS competition. The model is built with a void that is 50mm in depth which defines the perimeter of the proposed Letherium site. The 'hole' is designed to accept entrants' physical models and is equipped with a removable bottom so that if necessary, models could be up to 100mm 'below grade'.
Constructed from British Columbia cedar and Russian plywood, the ML:IDEAS site model features buildings found in the immediate vicinity the the ML site.
  PLEASE NOTE: If you are building a model as part of your submission, click on the "Massing Model Site Templates" link in the section below for important information on the size of the massing model.

Downloadable Data Files

  The links below provide participants with downloadable drawing and image files for use in preparing competition submissions.
  1911 Ordinance Survey Map (JPEG 1 meg)
CAD and Electronic Files (opens new window)
Elevation Remnant of Manchester Municipal Letherium
Streetmap UK Link (online street map)
Massing Model Site Templates (opens new window)


Location and General Information


The original site of the original 19th century Letherium, also the site for the proposed new building, occupies approximately 3950m2 (42,000 ft2) of open space at grade. In current use as a car park, the site is situated within central Manchester and is surrounded almost entirely by late 19th and early 20th warehouses, most of which are now converted to mixed-use residential and commercial spaces. The site is bordered to the west by Princess Street and to the south by Whitworth Street. Its northern boundary is defined by the Rochdale Canal and the eastern boundary is created by two existing buildings, both warehouses, roughly commensurate to the period of the original Letherium building. [Please consult site documentation above for more details]


Economy and Infrastructure


Manchester is situated in the geographic centre of the United Kingdom. The city is serviced with excellent transportation and infrastructural links including three train stations within its centre, two bus stations, an international airport and intercity transport links to all of the above with bus and tram. Formerly an industrial giant, 19th century Manchester is generally regarded as the birthplace of the industrial revolution. In the mid-20th century, with industry moving off shore, the city started a period of extreme economic decline, which went unabated until the late 1980’s.

In the last ten years Manchester has experienced remarkable economic and urban renewal and is now the third largest economic producer in the United Kingdom (behind London and Birmingham). While industry still accounts for a significant portion of its economic activity, the major thrust of the last decade has been in the service, knowledge, tech, and educational sectors. Manchester hosts three Universities, and is home to the largest student population in Europe.

  Greater Manchester has a population of 2.2 million, with most residents living in the areas surrounding the city centre. In the last 10 years dramatic regeneration and construction projects have increased the residential population of the city centre from its low in 1982 of less than 500, to its current figure of more than 7,000. It is expected that the city centre will, in the next 20 years, continue to grow, reaching 20-30, 000 inhabitants. The majority of the residential development has taken the form of the medium/low rise apartment/condominium loft typology.

Amenities and Proximities


Princess Street

  Princess Street hosts a number of bus routes servicing suburban Manchester. Its one way direction (south) out of the city supports commuter activity during the afternoon rush hour. Lining the street are many significant early and mid-19th century buildings, many of which were used originally as warehouses. A few blocks north of the site, on Princess Street, are two important Manchester cultural institutions: The People’s History Archive and Reading room, housed in the Mechanic’s Institute building (J.E. Gregan 1854 – 1855), and the Manchester Art Gallery (Charles Barry, 1824 – 35, with many additions).

Whitworth Street

  Whitworth Street acts as a connector between more significant feeder routes for the city. Again, most of its activity is relegated to rush hours. It too hosts several bus routes, most headed for south Manchester’s residential areas. Four blocks to the west Whitworth Street passes the city’s busiest train station, Manchester Piccadilly. Three blocks to the east it fronts Oxford Road Station and the Cornerhouse gallery/cinema/bar. The architectural character of Whitworth Street is defined by many large (eight to ten stories) early 20th century warehouse buildings, including Lancaster House (Harry S. Fairhurst 1905 - 1910) at the corner of Whitworth and Princess Streets.

The Rochdale Canal

  The Rochdale Canal (completed 1806) occupies a significant place in Manchester’s industrial past. It travels through the core of the city and once served as an important means of conveyance for manufactured goods throughout the city, connecting the Manchester’s many warehouses to the mills and manufacturing centres located outside the city. Although there are no plans of the Manchester Municipal Letherium in existence, it can be assumed that the canal was used, at least in part, as an important means of conveyance for artefacts into and out of the original building. Currently, the canal is the locus for considerable commercial development within the city center. Many of its edges are now lined with restored warehouses being used for residential and commercial applications. Significantly, the Rochdale Canal’s most active section - in terms of commercial development - lies just on the opposite side of the Letherium site. Canal Street, which runs parallel to the canal along its northern edge, is a pedestrian-access only street, fronted primarily by bars and cafes, and is considered to be the centre of Manchester’s Gay Village.

Environmental and Geographical Data

  Manchester is located at Lat 53.483, Long.-2.249, and is 58 meters above sea level. Its climate is generally temperate, although best practice usually assumes building for a “cold climate”.

Manchester's Environment at a Glance:

  Prevailing Wind direction:   To the Northeast
  January Temperature Average:   2 C.
  July Temperature Average:   15 C.
  Average Annual Rainfall:   1500mm
  Average Annual Snow:   300mm
  Annual Sunlight Hours Average   1200 hours

Solar Gain

  The Letherium site receives direct sun for much of the day, with the exception of approximately 6 weeks either side of the winter solstice period, in which solar gain on the surface of the site is reduced by 70% due to shade cast by neighbouring buildings.
Sun Position information is available by clicking here (new window)
ML: Home View south on Sackville Panorama view of eastern site boundaries View west on Whitworth View to north on Venice St North on Princess View to west on Whitworth View to north corner of Princess and Whitworth Northeast  site view View to Whitworth west Panorama view of site and Princess View to north on Samuel Odgen St Panorama view of northern site boundaries Panorama of Southern site boundaries Panorama view of western site boundaries Northwest on Princess Panorama view of eastern Canal St Western view of Canal St Canal view from pedestrian bridge Site view through buildings View of site from canal bridge View of Canal Locks Letherium Remains interior view Letherium Remains detail Letherium remains Locks and bridge view View Southeast Aerial View View Southwest View North View North Side View Oblique North View Oblique View East