Chetham's Music School

Chethams Music School - street view


Architect: Stephenson:ISA Studio
Client: Chetham's School of Music
Photographer: Daniel Hokpinson

This is a highly thoughtful and beautifully crafted new addition to the medieval school campus. From its varied response to its topography, surrounding buildings and skyline, this is a perfect example of breaking down a relatively large brief so that the resulting building sits comfortably without overwhelming its historic setting.

Manchester is a brick city so it is refreshing to see such an original and exquisitely detailed study in the material for an important civic building, carried through in the materiality of its context, which will age gracefully with limited maintenance.

The interior of light, texture and warmth continues to deliver, with everything down to door handles and benches made from trees felled on the site carefully considered. The only regret is the empty shell that awaits funding for the Main Auditorium; without it in operation, the building rests impatiently as a glorious musical instrument that is yet to be played.

It is sincerely hoped that the building will soon be completed to allow it to quite rightly to take its place alongside Manchester's finest.

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