The proposed gallery with external sculpture space on right.
David Adjaye is to design his first regional art gallery in the UK as part of a £55 million collaboration with architect Maurice Shapero and regeneration specialist Urbed.
The team, which also includes Manchester practice Stephenson Bell, plus developers Countryside Properties and UK Land & Property, has been chosen by Bury Metropolitan Borough Council ahead of 60 other submissions to create the gallery as part of the Sun Quarter regeneration project in Radcliffe.
The scheme will include 330 apartments, 5,000sq m of retail space, a bus station and a market alongside the striking 580sq m gallery by Adjaye and Shapero, to be sited on the banks of the River Irwell.
As a showcase for the sculpture of German artist Ulrich Ruckriem, the gallery will include an external space for Ruckriem’s slab-like work, while an adjacent two-level building will contain further gallery space and a bar.
Sole practitioner Shapero, who has previously worked for David Chipperfield and Stephen Hodder, predicted the gallery would create an “awesome” development, linking the river with the town centre.
“David [Adjaye] and I have been talking about doing a collaboration for years,” he said. “It’s a very simple concept, but will create a complex series of spaces between the [main development] and the water.
It’s a very simple concept, but will create a complex series of spaces
“The concrete columns by the river are 9.5m high and 64m long, so it will be a really awesome space.”
Urbed director David Rudlin revealed that the firm had consulted on an earlier masterplan for a larger area of Radcliffe in 2003, but called the latest designs “entirely new”.
He added: “The town centre has virtually disappeared. Where the town hall is, there’s almost no shopping left. The solution we’ve come up with is to bring people back into the town centre.”
The full list of bidders has not been made available to the public, but Tony Cummings, a local councillor for the Radcliffe West ward and chair of the Radcliffe Area Board, said the winning scheme had beaten a rival bid by Taylor Young for developers Bluemantle and Bellway.