PRITZKER Prize-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas – once cited as the 'most influential and controversial architect of his generation' - has won the international competition to design Manchester’s cutting-edge new £110m Factory arts venue.

The Factory Manchester will become ‘the flagship cultural centre for the North’

The striking design (main image) by Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) beat off competition from 48 architectural firms, including Stirling Prize-winner Zaha Hadid, GEIC architect Rafael Viñoly and Manchester's SimpsonHaugh.

Koolhaas' recent work includes the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, the Fondazione Prada in Milan, the CCTV building in Beijing (pictured below) and the headquarters for Rothschild Bank in the City of London.

The Factory project will be OMA’s first major public building in the UK.

Rem Koolhaas said: “I am delighted that we have won the competition to design The Factory and look forward to realising this radical arts building for Manchester."

CGI render of The Factory ManchesterCGI renders of The Factory Manchester - Koolhaas f**k?

Located within ITV's former Granada Studios complex, The Factory will form the cultural centrepiece of the 15-acre £1.5bn St John’s neighbourhood - a joint development project between Spinningfields developers Allied London and Manchester City Council.

Featuring an ultra-flexible 7000-capacity space capable of hosting large-scale concerts, theatre shows, exhibitions, conferences and screenings, the 'flagship cultural centre for the North’ will also become a new base for the Manchester International Festival.



As part of the Government's Northern Powerhouse initiative, the Factory project received a £78m pledge in last year’s Autumn Statement, while this week Chancellor George Osborne agreed, as part of the Spending Review, to back the project with £9m per annum from 2018/19.

Chancellor George Osborne said: "One of the biggest economic investments we can make in our nation is in our extraordinary arts heritage. That’s why, as part of our package for the Northern Powerhouse, we have backed The Factory."

CCTV HQ in BeijingOMA's CCTV building in Beijing

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The importance of The Factory cannot be overstated. It will be of international significance, the cultural anchor for the next phase of economic and cultural regeneration in Manchester."

Michael Ingall, Allied London’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to be playing our part in such a wide-reaching community and cultural project. We were delighted to see the quality of responses from the design teams but particularly pleased with the choice of architect, having studied several important projects designed by OMA over recent years.”

Those behind the project have calculated that within a decade The Factory will help create around 2,500 jobs adding nearly £140m to the local economy.

Work on The Factory Manchester is due to begin in 2016 with completion expected in 2019.