The MSC Archi-Archives & Learning Centre (MALC) is a project whose intent is to allow architects, students, built environment enthusiasts and the general public learn about architecture and access records, including materials on Manchester’s architecture. The chosen 'client', Manchester Society of Architects (MSA) sees it as an opportunity to provide an educational environment that will help build knowledge about the past, gain insights on the present and maximise learning for the future. Thus, MALC will serve as a knowledge hub where people within the architectural profession can collectively share ideas, experiences and knowledge, as well as engage with other built environment industry players and ultimately, be empowered.
The design enables the structure to accommodate three functions:
It has a Learning Centre which has a studio space, computer lab and lecture room. These spaces are used for educating and empowering architecture students in Manchester. Also, there are library spaces as well as group and individual private study rooms that are accessible to the public.
There is the Archi-Archive which preserves and allows access to architectural records and drawings of buildings in Manchester. The design facilitates a proper environment for storing these records, allows for upward extension of archival storage and enables the archive to have a separate entrance.
It consist of an interior eco-garden atrium, a sculptural roof, a waterfront seating area and a public garden, all of which enable the structure and its site to holistically function as a green hub. This provides an uplifting environment that inspires the public to come in.
The design must be safe and secure, healthy and comfortable, cost-effective and sustainable, aesthetically pleasing and accessible.
There must be two separate entrances, one for the archive and the other for the learning centre.
The design must have a minimum of 3 archive storages.
Accommodation for expansion of the archive must be provided.
Flexible reading rooms as well as a lecture hall should be included. There should also be a public study area and computer lab.
Outdoor space is as important as the indoor environment, hence, should be inclusive in the design.