In the press: Purcell's transformation of Manchester Museum

15 March 2023

Architects' Journal features Purcell's £15m transformation of Manchester Museum and new South Asia Gallery

The redevelopment includes a new extension, designed by Purcell, to house the UK’s first permanent gallery to celebrate the lived experiences and contributions of the South Asian diaspora. The 372m² South Asia Gallery, a British Museum partnership and co-curated by the South Asia Gallery Collective, is part of the Hello Future initiative, a Heritage Lottery Fund project launched in 2018 to encourage diverse communities to visit the museum.

The gallery’s palette of materials takes inspiration from South Asian design while being careful to avoid cliches and stereotypes. A new datum is created through hand-patinated brass panels that run the course of the exterior wall. The walls are painted a deep ochre.

The Purcell-designed extension is BREEAM Very Good and has been designed to adhere to the conditions required for museum collections. It accommodates the new gallery on the first floor and dedicated performance space for live performances from and inspired by South Asia.

Inside Purcell's new South Asia Gallery at the Manchester Museum

Purcell has created a stunning two-storey extension as part of Manchester Museum’s ambitious Hello Future transformation, housing a brand-new exhibition hall and South Asia Gallery.

— Dean Whiteside, head of commercial and operations, Manchester Museum