Science and Industry Museum SEG Manchester

The £5m Special Exhibitions Gallery combines grand industrial beauty and stunning sustainable design as part of a masterplan to restore and renovate a Grade I-listed railway station, warehouse and Grade II-listed railway viaduct.

Part of the Science Museum Group, the Grade I-listed Science and Industry Museum in Manchester is situated on the site of the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station, built in 1830 by George Stephenson. The globally-significant heritage site comprises some of the most important buildings of the modern industrial age.

Skelly & Couch’s environmental strategy for the transformation of the west end of the vaulted basement in the museum’s Grade II-listed New Warehouse focused on temperature and humidity control for the conservation of exhibition artefacts within a very controlled environment. LED-lit and bespoke fibre glass panels hide services, heating, ventilation, containment and water proofing.

Passive environmental design has been used wherever possibe to reduce life-cycle costs, save carbon and diminish visual impact on the exhibition space. New walls have been bolstered with hygroscopic mass to reduce the need for dehumidification.

The 725m² project has been designed to meet Government Indemnity standards. The temporary exhibitions gallery opens up access to this part of the historic site for the first time.

Winner of a 2021 AJ Architecture Award in the Heritage category. The judges described the site-wide energy strategy as ‘ingenious’. 

* Winner of a 2022 RIBA North West Award *.