Specific spaces in the Rylands are changing. In this page you will find how they currently look and the design concepts for how they might look.
Lead priority areas
Redevelop the modern ground floor to create a flexible event space for academic and public events, and address temperature issues in the modern ground floor.
Below you can see how this space currently looks. The ground floor and atrium (former cafe area) will be redeveloped to create a flexible and high-quality event space. This space is currently used for staff breaks, informal meeting space and occasional catering events.
Proposed designs of the new events space.
Develop a new imaging studio in order to upscale our digitisation and advanced imaging programmes in support of research.
The room currently houses one of the world's foremost collections of books and proclamations relating to the French Revolution and Napoleonic period. It will be tranformed into a state of the art imaging lab. Below you can see the current imaging studio.
Below is a view of the French Revolution Room currently.
Refurbish our gallery spaces, equipping them with outstanding display facilities to enable us to display outstanding items across the full range of our collections.
Below you can see one of our current gallery spaces.
Reconfigure the modern entrance to improve visitor flow, signal the function of the Rylands and create a more welcoming entrance.
The change is intended to create a clearer entrance space to the Rylands than it currently appears. The new concept speaks more of the purpose of the building as a place of learning and engagement and feels more inviting to all users. To capture these aspirations, the new entrance will comprise of a vestibule that reaches out into the public realm (replace the revolving door), made of striking and sculptural material (a thin dark metal that speaks of the iconic ironmongery within the Rylands).
Below is an illustration of what the entrance will look like.
Light touch refurb.
Improve staff working and breakout spaces in the 1920 building and 1962 Wolfson building.
Early in the project we undertook a feasibility study to investigate options for reopening the historic entrance on Deansgate. This demonstrated that to make the historic entrance wheelchair accessible would involve damaging and highly intrusive interventions into the original fabric. We have therefore ruled out this option. However, we hope to revitalise the historic entrance hall, through sensitive improvements to lighting and light-touch refurbishment.
Refurbish the cellars in the basement of the 1890s building to create a learning space for school groups, etc., and to reveal the working library to visitors.
We will create the new opening and ramp, but full redevelopment will only be done if external funding is secured.
Below is a current view of cellars.
This intervention is intended primarily as a practical tool to enable level access to (and therefore wider use of) the cellars. It would continue use of sculptural dark metal thresholds to signal clearly that the ramp is installed as part of the Next Chapter.
Below are 3d designs demonstrating what the ramp could look like, and its inspiration.
We are hoping to secure funding within The University of Manchester to improve services and environmental conditions throughout the building.
We will replace the internal signage for visitors, which is now obsolete.
Watch John Hodgson give an update on how the project is progressing and illustrate which spaces in the Rylands will be changing, and what they will look like.