Manchester Museum, one of the largest university museums in the UK, is over one hundred and thirty years old.
The original neo-Gothic building was designed by renowned architect Alfred Waterhouse (1830–1905) and is home to around four and a half million objects from natural sciences and human cultures. It has always been a place for research and learning, and we are a critical part of the city’s research infrastructure today.
hello future is the name given to the £15 million capital project, which transformed the museum and completed in February 2023.
Although our building and objects are important, the hello future transformation was about so much more. We asked ourselves how we can care for people, their ideas, beliefs and relationships. We believe that museums have extraordinary power to build understanding and empathy between cultures, across generations and time.
Transforming a historic building with such a large collection and renewing our civic mission was a complex project. Over eighteen thousand objects had to be moved or protected from building work during construction and we recycled and reused as much material as we could. It was made possible thanks to our extraordinary team and a spirit of collective endeavour.
The galleries and facilities that you find across the museum have been co-curated and co-designed and displays include new and diverse perspectives.
We have reimagined the entire Top Floor and you will find education groups, charities, artists, writers, social enterprises, activists, staff and students co-working and collaborating here, with a shared commitment to social and environmental justice.
The museum was born of civic spirit, curiosity and ambition at the height of British colonial rule, and how we acknowledge, interrogate and address this complex history is critical and urgent work. We are rethinking restitution and building new relationships with communities across the world and with those most intimately connected to our collections.