RTC carrying out waterproofing project in historic Manchester Metropolitan University £10m refurbishment

Grosvenor West building, Manchester Metropolitan University

RTC are proud to be the preferred contractor to carry out waterproofing within the grade two-listed Grosvenor West building, the historic home of the Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Based on Oxford Road, the 46,000 sq. ft Grosvenor West Building was designed by George Tunstal Redmayne and opened in 1881. It was later extended in 1898 with the rear addition designed by Joseph Gibbons Sankey.

Manchester School of Art is the UK’s second oldest art school and spans a number of buildings on the Manchester Metropolitan campus, including Grosvenor West and the Benzie Building. The historic Grosvenor West Building also houses the Holden Gallery, a public gallery situated at the heart of the building, which has functioned as a gallery since the building was extended. The School of Art has hosted notable names such as Walter Crane, Sylvia Pankhurst, Adolph Valette and LS Lowry.

Manchester School of Art is an innovator in art and design education in the UK. Established to provide design training to the manufacturing industry, the school offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses still very much influenced by the demands of industry to provide students with the essential skills and knowledge for their chosen careers.

The university appointed Cassidy + Ashton as lead architect and heritage architect on the project, alongside Conlon Construction as the main contractors.

Conlon Construction is delivering the ‘life cycle’ project refurbishment, designed by Cassidy + Ashton, which comprises fabric repairs to the exterior brick and stonework, roof and rooflights, as well as adding secondary glazing to improve insulation properties.

The work also includes enhancing accessibility, inclusivity, upgrading and replacing internal heating and lighting systems, and maintaining, enhancing and reintroducing the original heritage assets, all of which sets out to preserve the 141-year-old building, and ensure it meets the needs of the school’s next generation of art and design students.

It is a privilege to be part of a project that will preserve a monumental building that has inspired creative thinking ever since it was built. The university is very proud of the history behind Grosvenor Building, and we will be working closely with them to ensure it continues to excite and motivate artists and designers of the future.

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