Hat-trick for University on Building of the Year shortlist

Three University of Manchester buildings have been shortlisted for the Greater Manchester Building of the Year award – making up half of the total shortlist.


The University of Manchester’s Whitworth art gallery, The National Graphene Institute, and the new building for the Manchester Cancer Research Centre are all in contention for the award, which is organised by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The Manchester Cancer Research Centre is a partnership between the University, the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK.  The £28.5m University building opened in June and will house around 250 staff working on ground-breaking treatments for cancer – one of the major challenges identified by the University as a research beacon.

The National Graphene Institute was officially opened by Chancellor, George Osborne in March. It is the national centre for graphene research and will enable academics and industry to work side-by-side on the graphene applications of the future.  

The 7,825 square metre, five-storey building features cutting-edge facilities and equipment throughout to create a world-class research hub. Its 1,500 square metres of clean room space is the largest academic space of its kind in the world for dedicated graphene research.

The last of the three buildings is already shortlisted for the UK’s Stirling Prize and won the 2015 Museum of the YearThe Whitworth’s success follows a £15m redevelopment which doubled the space, and installed an art garden, sculpture terrace and orchard garden – and a new cafe set high among the trees of Whitworth Park.

All three buildings will be in the running for the final prize due to be announced on 12 November, alongside the Soapworks in Salford, Link Building in Manchester and the redeveloped Victoria Station. The University’s John Rylands Library won the award in 2007.

Diana Hampson, the University’s Director of Estates, said: “We are delighted that all three of our most recent major projects have been shortlisted for this award.

“All three projects are very different and are the result of real collaboration and team work between Estates colleagues, design team, end users and contractors, delivering both excellent design and functionality.”

The new buildings are part of the University’s Campus Masterplan, a billion pound project to create a single world-class campus by 2022 It features new student facilities and buildings for teaching and research, and major improvements to the public realm.

Read more about these developments on the Campus Masterplan website.


Notes for editors


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Jamie Brown
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The University of Manchester
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Email: jamie.brown@manchester.ac.uk