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About the Building and Its Architect

The Building

IWM North
IWM North is the first building in the UK by internationally-acclaimed architect, Daniel Libeskind. Clad in aluminium, this landmark building is a visionary emblem of war and reflects the innovative approach of the entire project.

The stunning exterior is based on the concept of a globe shattered by war and conflict. Libeskind has taken three of these pieces (or shards) to form the building, representing earth, air and water.

Visitors enter through the air shard, which is 55m high and open to the elements. It houses a viewing platform at 29m with spectacular views across the Manchester Ship Canal to Manchester city centre.

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 so you can experience the curvature of the earth.

The water shard, overlooking the Manchester Ship Canal and The Lowry accommodates the Restaurant.

Daniel Libeskind, Architect

  • Daniel Libeskind is an international figure in urban design, well known for his thoughtful approach to architecture.
  • His vision for Imperial War Museum North depicts the world as a broken globe, shattered by war and man's self-destruction.
  • Born in 1946, Libeskind became an American citizen in 1965. He studied music in Israel and New York, becoming a virtuoso performer before going on to study architecture.
  • His practice, Studio Daniel Libeskind, is currently based in Berlin.

Studio Daniel Libeskind's recent commissions include:-

  • Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany
  • Felix Nussbaum Museum in Osnabrück, Germany
  • Jewish Museum in San Francisco, USA
  • Extension to the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
  • Maurice Wohl Convention Centre, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv
  • The Spiral Extension to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • Post-Graduate Centre, University of North London. London
  • Extension to the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

Ground Zero site, New York, USA
New York chooses Libeskind Design

A design by Daniel Libeskind has been selected from over 400 submissions for the World Trade Center site in New York in the final stages. Libeskind beat Think, a consortium of New York based architects, to be selected for the scheme.

Libeskind's design includes a 1,776ft tower - the world's tallest - and has a museum, cultural facilities, public places, performing arts centre and retail space. The museum will act as the entrance to the Ground Zero Memorial site. Construction on the scheme, which Libeskind calls Memory Foundations, is not due to begin for more than 12 months.

About IWM North

For further details and images please contact:

Alex Knight Press & PR Manager
tel +44 (0)161 836 4040

The multi-award winning Imperial War Museum North is a great free day out for all ages. Designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to represent a globe shattered by conflict. it reveals how war shapes lives through powerful exhibitions, the Big Picture (a 360 degree light and sound show), tours, object handling sessions, and family activities all available daily. Visit the cafe, shop and viewing platform offering views over The Quays.

The Museum tells the story of how war has affected the lives of British and Commonwealth citizens since 1914. It is the 5th branch of the Imperial War Museum and the first outside the South East of England. Recently named Northwest and Manchester Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2009, one of the top 10 buildings of the last century (The Rough Guide to England, 2008) and one of the top 3 Large Visitor Attractions in England (Silver Award at Visit Britain's Excellence in England Awards 2007).

Imperial War Museum North is a charity and much of the work the Museum does, from unique exhibitions to learning programmes with the local community, relies on the generosity of trusts, foundations, the business community, a corporate members scheme and individual giving. IWM North is extremely grateful to its current and past supporters.

The Museum is open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm (Nov to Feb 10am-5pm) with free admission.  It is situated at The Quays on Trafford Wharf Road, Trafford Park, Manchester close to Harbour City Metrolink and Junction 9 of the M60.