Musical Mini City

The Manchester International Festival had a vision to create an interactive melodic adventure for children ranging from 6 months to 7 years old. They needed to ensure this was delivered in a way that would not only house a series of miniature performance spaces, but did so in an environment that appealed their intended audience.

Intended to be a temporary installation located at Salford Quays, we explored how we could cleverly design an indoor-outdoor destination that not only met the brief, but exceeded expectations along the way. Our architectural solution involved 78 shipping containers stacked up to three high to create an elliptical, enveloping shape to replicate the geometry of sound.

With its quayside location in mind, our dramatic design captured the spirit of the shipping container as the ubiquitous tool of world trade, featuring nautical canopies, wire rigging and tarpaulins. The result was a mini city featuring interactive performance spaces, including specially adapted recording and animation studios allowing the very young to explore a fantasy world of sound and music.

An intelligent architectural solution involving 78 shipping containers to house a range of interactive and child friendly performance spaces.

Sector | Public / Arts

Completion | 2011

Client | Manchester International Festival

Copyright | Courtesy of BDP

“Whilst we had a clear vision of what we wanted the installation to achieve, we needed architecture and design experts to deliver the physical space in a way that responded to the brief and our audience, as well as projecting the brand values of the festival.”