Interior Main Theatre

Home – a new home for contemporary art, theatre and film

  • Thu 27 Sep, 2012

The brand new production centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film formed by the merger of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company and based at First Street will be called Home.

The name Home has come out of a detailed and collaborative research and consultation process, which involved more than 150 people including local residents, audience members and key partners from across the city, as well as an online forum where people could contribute their thoughts. They were asked about the cultural organisations they admire and enjoy, as well as what they feel the atmosphere and character of the new organisation should be. The results of the research have not only contributed to choosing a name, but are informing everything from programme development to interior design.

Home was a word which recurred often when people were asked what the new organisation should be – a second home, somewhere you feel at home, the home of great work. It reflects the warmth felt towards Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company, as well as the aspiration that the new organisation should be accessible and welcoming.

“The name for the new organisation has been the subject of much discussion over the past few months. Our conversations with partners, residents and audience members threw up two contrasting aspirations for the future of the organisation – the friendly, warm and playful aspect is contained in the word ‘Home’. Alongside this, many of the people we spoke to wanted the new organisation to be somewhere that challenged them and made them think. This aspect will be further developed in our visual identity, as well as in our programming, which is now starting to take shape.” comments Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This naming announcement is another milestone in the journey towards a new centre which will make a major contribution to the arts in Manchester, the UK and internationally. It’s going to be a catalyst to creative and economic growth, stimulating investment as well as imaginations.”

The design team led by Mecanoo has made tremendous progress since being appointed early last year, developing the building’s design, achieving planning permission and completing the detailed design. Contractors Wates Construction have appointed architects _space architecture to complete the construction design, while Mecanoo have been retained by Manchester City Council to oversee the design concept. Concrete Architectural Associates are currently working on the interior design of the new building.

Over the next few months agency O Street will be working with Creative Concern to create a visual identity for the new organisation, with the final identity being revealed in October after further consultation.

Have further questions? With everyone talking about the announcement today we’ve provided more informatation on the reasoning behind the name here.

Add a comment


The name ‘Home’ brings to mind another NQ bar, or maybe a terrible discount store, but not a premier Arts venue… I think a rerethink is needed now, before it becomes a *more* expensive mistake. I wish sometimes we up North could share some of the confidence of our southern friends. Can you imagine the Barbican, or the National Theatre, or the South Bank rebranded as ‘Home’? No, nor can I ….

Jon Nicholas  

Hi Jon, we worked with 150 plus audience members, staff and others, listening to what they wanted from the character and atmosphere of the new organisation and what they thought it should stand for. A shortlist of names was created based on this research. Home was a reference point for much of the workshop discussions (second home, feeling at home, home of great work) and following discussions with staff and stakeholders it emerged as one of the strongest possible names for the organisation. It evokes accessibility, welcome and warmth, connection, a sense of ownership and personal relationships – all of which came out in our discussions with audiences as essential to the atmosphere and character of the new organisation.

HOME isn’t the most eye-catching name option we considered, but we feel that’s a good thing. Based on what we heard from audiences in the workshops and the discussions we had with staff, we also wanted to avoid anything that tried too hard, that came across as pretentious or overworked or that needed a lot of explanation.

Sarah Leech (Cornerhouse)  

I like the name HOME. It’s welcoming, warm and informal, which very much reflects the way things are done in the 21st century. It’s based on what the place hopes to feel like, rather than where it’s located, which is inherently artistic because of the emotional connection. It’s inclusive, appealing to something we all experience, rather than tying associations to a single person, such as LS Lowry. For a new build, I prefer it to, say, the GASWORKS, which is industrial, old-fashioned, purely functional, and probably grubby and polluting. I like the openness of HOME – it allows the place to diversify and become more than just an arts centre.

Tom Neill  

poor name-reminds me of the corny ploy of a central city pub to call itself ‘The Office’ so that men(mostly) could phone home and say that they were delayed at the office!

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