Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum is located on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal on the Trafford wharfside of Salford Quays. The design concept is based on the globe, broken into three fragments to depict the shattering effect of war on the history of the world.
The steel-framed aluminum clad building is composed of free-flowing forms and asymmetric geometry. The three fragments, or "Shards", are structurally interlocked to represent world conflict on land, water and in the air.
Visitors enter through the Air Shard, which is 55 meters high and open to the elements. The tower construction of criss-crossing steel beams, 4.5 degrees off the vertical, incases the elevator, leading to a viewing platform 29 meters in the air, and the cement tower containing the staircase. The views across the Manchester Ship Canal to Manchester city centre are spectacular...looking down through the meshed steel floor is rather scary.
The curved Earth Shard houses the main public areas of the Museum - the Main Exhibition Space and the Special Exhibition Gallery. The gallery floors are curved, to experience the curvature of the earth, the lighting is low-key.
Facts about Imperial War Museum
Total site area:
Total area: 9,000 m2
Leach Rhodes Walker, Manchester
Arup Acoustics, Cambridge
Mechanical & Electrical:
Connell Mott MacDonald, Croydon
Ove Arup Partners, London/Manchester
Sir Robert McAlpine, Manchester
Last updated: November 23, 2012