Manchester Jewish Museum

News

Go Back

Designing a “place for conversation”

As we look ahead to what 2021 has in store for us, where better to start than our new building.

Manchester Jewish Museum will re-open in 2021 with a new building, twice the size as before. Our synagogue will have been repaired, refurbished and its original decorative features reinstated. Designed by award-winning architects, Citizens Design Bureau, our extension will include a new gallery, learning studio & kitchen, collection store, shop and cafe.

Architect Katy Marks of Citizens Design Bureau spoke to Architect’s Journal about her inspiration and consultation process for creating a museum that reflects the diversity of Manchester’s Jewish Communities and the museum’s local community and creates a space for sharing and connection:

“It has to be a place for conversations, about diversity, identity, migration and community. In that context, our design process has involved endless conversations, workshops, study trips with a huge variety of people: local community, Jewish communities, schools, historians, artists, academics and more. The brief has evolved explicitly through an iterative ’scratch’ process, creating test events in the synagogue (’synagigs’!), to bagel-baking workshops – all of which will form an integral part of the museum experience.

The local community is as diverse as it gets, with a large refugee population […] We’ve designed the building less in the spirit of a museum in the traditional sense but more with the brief of creating ‘a living room for Cheetham Hill’. 

Since the principal focus of the museum is to tell stories of social history, great care has been taken to reflect the diversity of Jewish communities in Manchester: diversity of religious practice, language, wealth and politics. There is huge political, social and religious diversity in Manchester and this museum is exciting in that it doesn’t speak with one voice or purport to represent a definitive version of a singular Jewish community. The museum will also invite conversations on migration, refugees and being an outsider in a new place. The architecture is designed explicitly to reflect that.” 

Katy Marks

Design images courtesy of Citizens Design Bureau.

PREVIOUS NEWSSEE ALL NEWS

A more sustainable manchester jewish museum

Our new museum is more sustainable and energy efficient thanks to the hard work of the structural engineers at Buro Happold. Despite doubling in size, we have reduced our overall energy use and carbon impact by 20% so that our museum may be preserved and enjoyed by future generations.

Our brand new vegetarian Café

Opening on Friday 2 July, Manchester Jewish Museum is delighted to reveal an exclusive “first look” at its brand new museum café and launch menu. Located at the Museum’s new entrance, the museum café will open daily from 10am seven days a week to serve a contemporary vegetarian kosher-style menu.

Our New Gallery

Part of our £6 million redevelopment, our new gallery space will take visitors on a journey through Manchester’s Jewish history to the city’s present day communities and individuals. We spoke to our curator Alex Cropper and Matt Schwab from All Things Studio about the process and what to look out for in our new gallery when you visit.

Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme with IWM

Manchester Jewish Museum joins IWM's Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme. We will be joining seven other regional partners to engage national audiences with hidden or lesser-known stories from across the country relating to the Second World War and the Holocaust.

A key milestone for Manchester Jewish Museum

A 'key' milestone for Manchester Jewish Museum as the keys for the new museum are now in the firm possession of our Chief Executive Max Dunbar as the building is officially handed over to the staff,