Group 40

As part of Manchester Town Hall’s restoration project, MSA and Lendlease are proud to present Archiving Albert - an initiative to create accessible digital connections to the rich archive of the Albert’s Square collective heritage. We want to make sure that our urban development, artefact revival, and digital network not only caters to everyone who wants to explore the realms of Mancunian history, but enhances Albert Square’s role as one of Manchester City Centre’s most important and active event spaces.

Download Final Report

Farah Nadhiera Binti MF / Edna T / Keerthana M / Syahirah Hanis Binti AG / Elliott T / Payam M

In this project we will focus on developing research skills, graphic design, mapping exercise and utilising design software including the use of QR code. By imagining new possibilities around Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall, we will adopt strategies for research and representation by using mixed media to convey spatial arrangement, connect physical and digital infrastructure and enhance visitors’ experience. There will be series of workshops conducted by our dedicated team members to ensure everyone is catered and looked after as a team. We appreciate knowledge and skills exchange and believe everyone has something to contribute!
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:26
We are collaborating with the Lendlease, who is currently working with the city council on the Townhall restoration project. They have vast experience in working with historic buildings, as well as architecture and master planning.

The main collaborator with Lendlease will be Tamara Karim who will be providing us with the necessary information regarding the project. She is interested in social value and inclusive growth-related subjects and she is working along with employees of the city council to provide opportunities for Mancunians to explore the history of Albert Square.

“Companies must start justifying their worth to society, with greater emphasis placed on environmental and social impact rather than straight economics." are the words of Dick Dusseldorp, Founder of Lendlease. So joining our group gives you an opportunity to engage with the history of Albert Square and creating an interactive design module to archive it.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 23:52
1.Revive and reintroduce historical artifacts around Manchester Town Hall to the wider community, particularly the younger generations

2.Connecting the community with the ‘story’ of the Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square using a digital platform and bridging this to the physical realm through an on-site installation as well QR code interface, making information accessible for all.

3.Enhancing the role of the square as an important landmark in Manchester as well as an interactive and educational space for the local community and tourists.

4. Preserving and replenishing green spaces in the city of Manchester to provide social spaces for the community
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:10
Name : Syahirah Hanis Abd Ghafar
Atelier : Advanced Practice
Qualification : Master of Arts with Honours, MA (Hons) in Architecture from The University of Edinburgh
Skills : AutoCAD, Animation, Detailing
Fun facts : I get motivated listening to songs with good lyrics and sushi makes me happy
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:37
Name : Elliott Taylor
Atelier : INFRA Space
Qualification : Bachelor of Arts with Honours, BA (Hons) in Architecture from The University of Huddersfield
Skills : Photoshop, Rhino and Grasshopper
Fun fact : I’m a fantastic chef but only if the dish is solely carbs
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:38
Name : Farah Nadhiera Binti Mohammad Fuad
Atelier : Advanced Practice
Qualification : Master of Arts with Honours, MA (Hons) in Architecture from University of Edinburgh
Skills : Graphic Design, Branding, Animation, Architectural and Interior Design
Fun facts: I name each of my plants that I own
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:39
Name : Keerthana Manimaran
Atelier : Continuity in Architecture
Qualification : BA (Hons) in Architecture from School of architecture and planning(SAP) Anna university, India.
Skills : sketching, photoshop,autocad, sketchup.lumion
Fun Fact : descriptive poetry, origami, travelling, photography,illustrations and abstract painting.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:40
Name : Payam Malakouti
Atelier : CPU Ai
Qualification : BA (Hons) in Architecture from The University of Nottingham Trent
Skills : Photoshop, Rhino and Grasshopper, Lumion, UE4
Fun fact: Water Melon and Pancakes are my thing
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:41
Name : Edna Thomas
Atelier : PraXXis
Qualification : BA (Hons) in Architecture from the University of Mumbai
Skills : Photoshop, Revit, Lumion, Architectural Detailing
Fun Fact: I bake when I am bored and cats make me happy
Posted 2 Mar 2021 00:42
Here are some highlights for Week 1!

We'll start off chill by playing games and conversing to break the 'ice'. Teams will be split into 2, carrying out different but complementing tasks. This week, we will be focusing on getting as much informations on Albert Square and its surrounding context. We will try to understand and connect the dots to create a timeline in forming our story of the Albert Square. We will brainstorm and discuss design ideas to encourage visitors participation and make the 'story' interesting.

On top of that, we have specially invited guest speakers for sharing sessions throughout this week. We also have a skills workshop by our very own talented team member, Elliott.

Looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow!
Posted 9 May 2021 16:44

Following site introduction and team voting, allocated members of the Heritage team move to a separate call for initial brainstorming session. Findings are collated in our shared Miro board so everyone on the team can access the information. The goal of the session is to get to know Albert Square better, its surrounding context as well as historical facts and narrative that could potentially feed into our 'story' later.

Collectively, we found many interesting informations, quick facts, historical imageries, landmarks as well as site drawings. Some interesting informations include the story during the initial idea of the square which involves demolition of dense housing on site as a prerequisite for locating the Albert Memorial. Other than that, we have also patched together informations from different sources to create a historical timeline recording as early as the 1850s until present, showing when the square and the Town Hall was built and completed, later refurbishment and current restoration, Our Town Hall project.

Overall, this session was a great start to develop our narrative further.
Posted 10 May 2021 18:51
The session starts with an ice-breaker game by using Kahoot online application. In this game, participants have to guess the missing landmarks when their iconic buildings were removed! The lesson was to sharpen our observations towards surrounding context, and on how we approach buildings. In this case, imagining Town Hall was missing and left only the Albert Square as a gateway to the building. We would like to congratulate the top three winners in this game, Charlotte Bell, Charlotte Farrel and Charlotte Ellis!
Posted 10 May 2021 19:04

Using Google Earth application, we had a virtual tour led by Payam and an overview of the Albert Square to get a better understanding of the site. As part of the exercise, we have carried out S.W.O.T analysis based on our first impression of the site, identifying strength, weakness, opportunity and threats present. Our discussion and findings consisting of some observations and initial ideas on potential elements to include such as skateboarding/ cycle ramps, visualisations of precedents, even the type of trees that can be planted to convey different seasonal vibes. All these are collated in our shared Miro board.
Posted 10 May 2021 20:15
Design Team - Day 1
After a successful virtual site visit followed by splitting into two teams, the design team further delves into the design aspect of the project. The session commences with a synchronized brainstorming on the MIRO board. Further dividing the main design idea into two subgroups: QR display & visitor experience center. These are the main design elements within our site. The session ends with a detailed discussion of each individual's ideas. The response was overwhelming. There were some great precedents to take inspiration from. Also, it was nice to have seen different design approaches towards the same site. Looking forward to getting more perspective tomorrow after layering down all the concepts to our collaborators.
Posted 11 May 2021 04:36
Guest Speakers! (Archiving Albert - Day 2)

We were so pleased that our collaborator from Lendlease, Tamara Karim, could introduce us to some of the many faces working on the renovations around Manchester’s Albert Square.

Whether it be historical curation, social values, or even masonry refurbishment, we think we’re covered for consultants!

Stay tuned for day 3; we’ve an exciting line-up ahead!
Posted 11 May 2021 20:44

After an informative sharing session with Meg McHugh and Tamara Karim, the Heritage Team went back to our Miro board and start discussing refinement on the topics to be covered within our interpretation of Albert Square. We have narrowed down 7 main topics which aligned with the current proposal of the Heritage Team of the restoration project, which Meg was a part of. They are:

1. Introduction to Albert Square and Town Hall
- covering background information of the two important landmarks
2. Historical facts
- narrating why it is built? How? Where? And when?
3. Existing sculptural/ art collections
- showing current collections on display including one of the most celebrated 'treasures', the 12 Manchester murals
4. People behind the scene
- stakeholders directly and indirectly working on and affected by the changes of the square and Town Hall over the years
5. Conflicts and controversies
- informing past issues such as protest on Town Hall demolition
6. Manchester and the World
- inclusivity of the space to be a medium that tells the story of everyone, 'Voice of people' , blurring the division between people in the city centre and those outside
7. Digital infrastructure
- representation method to ensure inclusivity for all

Our refined story topics will be integrated to go hand-in-hand with the visitor experience centre and QR code display concept produced by the Design Team
Posted 12 May 2021 14:21
The session today started with the full-blown analysis and site conditions to be taken into consideration while the initial stage of design. The Albert square is spatially interesting and the enclosing architecture is varied. We as a team believe that the scope of implementation is quite high. Studying the social and historic significance of the sculptures and the Albert memorial gave us a clearer vision to our project aims. Looking forward to developing some concrete design elements in the session tomorrow.
Posted 13 May 2021 04:02
Tune in today at 10am for an all-new workshop on the joys of the Adobe Creative Cloud, with your favourite host Elliott Taylor.

It's all about having fun, learning something new, and creating happy little accidents!
Posted 13 May 2021 19:17
Guest Speaker - DAY 4
The morning session started with a great talk by Craig Dick, the sustainability manager for the Manchester Townhall Restoration project. He is a part of our project partner Lendlease for more than 4 years now. He spoke about how to make a building more efficient for future use and some tips about material reuse and ways to reduce carbon emission. His useful insights were reflected by the team, which led to some great design developments for the rest of the day.
Posted 14 May 2021 04:00
By Farah

To prepare ourselves into the next final week, Heritage Team comes up with several page layout options to consider how the research materials so far can be effectively communicated and visualised. We give each other feedback through our usual 'show and tell' session at the end of the day.
Posted 14 May 2021 17:53
By Syahirah

This draft layout option uses the whole 2 page spread and integrates several narrative topics in a page as compared to Draft 1. It uses interactive features in which readers can click on certain buttons for informations to show. There is also opportunity for comparing Albert Square and the Town Hall between the past and contemporary times (municipality to civic) in the second layout, however team members had raised concern over the capability to accurately singled-out the exact year of when this supposedly happened due to the constant changes in past events. Alternatives suggested include to put the focus of the page on the events accordingly, not on the year when they happened.
Posted 14 May 2021 19:46
By Elliott

In contrast to the first 2 drafts, this layout follows the masterpages template provided more closely as an option. While the idea to represent each narrative topics are similar with the other two drafts, one interesting idea in this is to use dialogue bubbles or 'comical' strips style in conveying information. This is to engage the readers more through 'story telling' and 'casual conversation' instead of having them to read lines of informative text that can be overwhelming.
Posted 14 May 2021 19:56
An insightful talk with Tony Ewings, the Project Manager from Stone Edge who is involved in the masonry refurbishment and Lee Bilson, the Heritage Consultant from Recclesia.
They shared their experiences of being involved in the restoration of Manchester Town Hall and they spoke about the craftsmanship required for the project. It was also quite interesting to know about the amount of intricate work of art involved in preserving and restoring the Town Hall.
Posted 15 May 2021 18:45
These are the initial ideas of my design concept. Manchester worker bees colonizing the public space. An organic form in contrast to the formal traditional architecture of the Town Hall. Possibly waterproof fabric stretched over a wooden honeycomb lattice. The structure could be repurposed for use at other events. Shards of honeycomb as outposts. Smaller shelters located throughout the wider civic center showcasing outdoor exhibits/info boards. Potential for these to be dotted around the city center to encourage people from the further field. eg. outside the station or Piccadilly Gardens etc. Possibility to include a temporary green roof element to attract pollinators. Cells planted off-site and inserted into the temporary structure. Can be removed to refresh planting.
Posted 16 May 2021 19:55
This geometric design explores variations of honeycomb-like structures that refer back to Manchester's heritage symbol: the bee. The fragmented hexagonal shapes generate a labyrinthic walkway through the exhibits, leading back to the centre of the piece and eventually to the entrance of the town hall. This initial idea is meant to create an interactive and engaging experience for the passers-by and bring the ones who enjoy closer to chart the riches of the past.
Posted 16 May 2021 19:58
These are the initial idea sketches for my design. My idea is to use wooden batons to make up the structure as a whole (as shown in the precedents). The structures are curved and move around the existing features of the site (e.g. trees/statues). The batons would curve into a roof or into a seat etc. Roofs can be made out of the batons in a hexagonal arrangement which references the bees thus Manchester.
Posted 16 May 2021 19:59
1. The hexagonal cells (Manchester's Heritage Symbol) are organized around the main 5 statues which will create window for past to present.
2. The hexagonal sheds can be turned into movable temporary pavillions (MOBILE URBANISM) which can be around the central statue which can act as an information center.
3. Hexangonal cells can be be further broken down into smaller diamond or trangular modules.
4. Minimal interventions to the site is required for the pavillion to be erected.
5. Bioswale around the site will secure the site, adding an aesthetic feature and will also helps in surface drain off.
6. Different zones can be created around every statue.
Posted 16 May 2021 20:07
Week 1 fly by so fast! Here are some highlights for Week 2!

As we completed all sharing sessions with guest speakers in the first week, in Week 2, we'll be more focused in visual productions and compiling materials obtained into our publication. Heritage Team will look into connecting the 'story' of Albert Square and Town Hall and represent this visually. Design Team will refine and finalise the design for the visitor's experience centre and QR code display, followed by visual productions. Both teams' works will be integrated in which the narratives set by the Heritage Team will complement design being proposed as well as the Design Team to reflect our 'story' into the design of the visitor's centre. Prior to submission, we'll have a session with our collaborator from Lendlease, Ms. Tamara Karim, on Wednesday to review and provide feedbacks.

Can't wait to see the finished product! Looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow!
Posted 16 May 2021 21:18
Today, the Heritage Team had a thorough discussion to decide our catalogue format as well as the content for each sections based on all of our Week 1 research. We went over from the graphic style for all visuals planned up to text placement and effects to be applied. To kick start our catalogue, each one of us are assigned to edit photos of landmarks and sculptures, as well as creating a short introductory paragraph in Indesign. These are then collated in our publication document by Kostis (BA1), who will apply necessary interactive elements as agreed by the team. We also had short sharing sessions on how to create interactive buttons in Indesign by Kostis, as well as using the camera raw filter in Photoshop by Farah (M.Arch). At the end of our meeting, everyone took a page each to work on for tomorrow, before our review session with our collaborator, Ms. Tamara Karim (Lendlease) on Wednesday.
Posted 17 May 2021 21:18

As we move towards the deadline before meeting our partners, we observed some really high quality outputs from the team members! Sam is currently working on the 'Events' page which outlines key historical moments and turning points in Manchester Town Hall and its relationship with the wider context.
Posted 18 May 2021 18:52

Complementary to Sam's work, Charlotte Farrell and Charlotte Ellis are currently working on the 'Conflicts and Controversies' page which emphasised the role of Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square as a place to congregate the people of Manchester together during difficult times. Poet Tony Walsh read his poem 'This Is The Place' at Albert Square following the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.
Posted 18 May 2021 18:55

Farah's work looks into the existing collections in the Town Hall. There are over 3,000 hidden 'gems' ranging from sculptures to silverwares in the Town Hall yet they are not well known or discovered much from the public in general.
Posted 18 May 2021 19:25
The hexagonal cells were abstracted from the honeycomb since Worker Bee is a symbol of Manchester. We organised them around the main 5 statues which create windows from the past to the present.
The Hexagon Sheds are movable temporary pavilions (Mobile Urbanism) that can be around the central statue which can be around the central statue can act as a visitor experience centre.
Different zones could be created around every statue linking to the heritage factors of the site.
Posted 19 May 2021 09:47
Locating the viewpoints to see the photographs of the old to connect it with the context and how it looks now. This might interest people in understanding the historical moments which took place in and around the Townhall. This is to create an interactive environment for the display of photographs and QR code
Posted 19 May 2021 12:41

Elliott's page focuses on the wider context of Manchester, whereby the shift in focus to the rich cultural and historical diversity of it's people can be reflected within the proposed design installation to be constructed on Albert Square - a new space intended to associate specifically with Mancunians in a contemporary setting, and provide an alternate social approach to the area that promotes inclusiveness for local communities, as opposed to the more pristine, and rather elitist surrounding monuments.
Posted 19 May 2021 17:51

This page looks into highlighting prominent people behind the realization of Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square as well as the heritage dotted around the area. While it is important to remember and give credits to the pioneers in the 19th century, it is also essential to showcase people who work hard behind the scene today in the 21st century through the Our Town Hall project, which one day will go down in history as well. As it is a project with the local community at its heart, the Mancunians are especially important as we invite them to share their stories with us at our proposed visitor experience centre in Albert Square.
Posted 19 May 2021 18:41
Tune in for an all-new creative workshop with certified Rhino Guru Payam Malakouti.

Archiving Albert features an extensive design proposal to be constructed within the Albert Square - Why not gain an insight to the technical side of the creative process?
Posted 19 May 2021 19:26
She's about to take our visualisation skills out of this world.

In an all-new creative workshop, Farah Nadhiera Binti Mohammad Fuad gives an extensive tips and tricks session in Adobe Illustrator.

Parental guidance is advised.
Posted 19 May 2021 19:54
Prior to submission this Friday, we had a final review session today with our collaborator from Lendlease, Ms. Tamara Karim. Overall, we received positive feedbacks from her. For the narrative catalogue, Tamara appreciates the interactive elements we did as they were considering for digital publication to reduce use of paper. It would be great to have a printed version as well for now to cater to those without access to digital device.

In terms of the visitor experience centre, she loves our design which she described as modern, in contrast to the more classic architecture of the Town Hall and other listed buildings around the site. She likes our concept that uses hexagonal elements to represent Manchester's iconic symbol of worker bees, which indirectly tells the story and history of Mancunians itself. Her key concern is the mobility of the visitor experience centre to be able to cater to events that will be actively organized in Albert Square all year-long. Luckily, we have considered this since the very beginning by using lightweight and easily dismantled materials for the construction, enabling the centre to easily adapt and moved when required. She gave us a 'green light' to proceed with our proposal and even requested a copy of our work when it is complete.

Our next step is to format our final publication and to clearly show the buildability and mobility aspect of the visitor experience centre in order to convince our audience.
Posted 19 May 2021 22:34

Kostis contributes to the interactive feature that goes with the QR code interface. This page allows visitors to understand and appreciate the surrounding historical context of Albert Square such as the statues (and the stories behind each), as well as identifying several Listed Buildings Grade I and II nearby.
Posted 20 May 2021 12:49

Offering windows into the past, translucent photo boards mark key points in space and time. Sited at precise locations, both modern and historic views can be experienced simultaneously by simply looking through the image. The experience is further enhanced with the inclusion of QR codes that signpost visitors to online resources allowing them to delve deeper into the heritage of the city.
Posted 21 May 2021 11:29

Isn't it great to fall back on your memories just to relive some moments. Similarly this idea was derived in context to Albert square, the historic moments that took place in the past and a chance to relive them. The concept revolves around significant viewpoints arranged around the square with perspective image of the past co relating to the current day area of the square. This helps us to acquire a broader and richer understanding of history of albert square and Manchester townhall and also acknowledge the world we live in today and our place in it. It aids in preserving the heritage through memory as well.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:07
Video Link:
Manchester BEE Pavilion

Immersed in the Pavilion the audience will venture into an ambience separate from the outside world that takes you back in time through the rich history that Albert Hall has seen.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:22
Video Link:

Celebrating the history of Manchester and it's people in Albert Square's civic quarter. Archiving Albert Design team created a honeycomb structure in homage to the working bees of Manchester where exhibitions of history and skills can be exhibited.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:25
#1The initial concept
Designed by Payam Malakouti,
Sketched by Yousra Ennaanai.

Initially, we began with the idea to have an iconic space in between the square and the Townhall which would represent the people of Manchester. The Bee denotes Mancunian' hard work ethic and the city as a hive of activity. It has also come to represent the sense of unity in our great city. We tried wrapping the Albert Square, with the Honeycomb structure by framing each statue.
Posted 21 May 2021 17:54
The concept #2
Design Team developed the ideas of creating a enjoyable experience for the people of Manchester
sketched by Charlotte Olivia Farrell

By locating the arrival points we managed to develop a trail for the visitor experience centre. We developed a serpentine form for the users to navigate through the Albert square by looking at the exhibits such as the Old & New photos as well as the usage of the QR code. But this design option was quite directional and constructive hence we tried developing this option further.
Posted 21 May 2021 17:55
#3 The design development
Sketched by Charlotte Olivia Farrell

We tried locating the visitor experience centre behind the Albert statue, we dissected the initial volume to produce it. This turns it into a transitional as well as a congregation point for the visitors.
we designed the honeycomb pathway to navigate through Albert Square and we tried placing the viewpoints for the display of the photographs as well as the QR codes.
Posted 21 May 2021 17:56
#4 The final design option
Sketched by Yousra Ennaanai.

we dissected the initial volume to produce the visitor experience centre behind the Albert square which eventually turned into an organic form. Underlining the spatial movement we wanted to elevate the user experiences.
While designing we got good exposure to the Rhino skills of one of our teammates. We learned a lot during the process of developing the form and creating interesting spaces.
Posted 21 May 2021 18:05
The Evolution of the Membrane
Modelled by Payam Malakouti.

Taking into consideration the temporarily of the structure, since most of the year Albert square would be occupied with some activities. We incorporated our initial idea of the honeycomb into this design option.
To break the solidity, we designed a translucent membrane that could glow at night. we wanted to focus on both the night and the day life factor of Albert square.
While designing this, it nearly took three days to come up with the algorithm to attain the desired results. The team further worked on the structural detailing aspect of it.
Posted 21 May 2021 18:08
The final output

Pretty happy with the output we obtained as it catered to all our concepts and ideas. we were able to create an iconic structure that was meant for the people of Manchester. It addressed the Nightlife of Albert square, creating a vibrant environment that could be clubbed with any other events happening in the Square.
The illustration representation the various design elements coming together as a whole.
Posted 21 May 2021 18:25
The People Who Make It Happen!

Massive thank you to the BA team members in the Heritage Team who contributed to the narrative, in-depth research and original outputs to the publication. From interactive pdf, historical collages, illustrations, and photo montages, we appreciate the skills exchange and have learned a lot from each other as a team. It was truly a pleasant experience to work together!
Posted 21 May 2021 19:41
The People Who Make It Happen!

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the BA and MLA team members in the Design Team who contributed to the design concept, developments and technical detailing in this project. From concept sketches, render images, visualisations and Rhino workshop series, we feel like everyone knows how to maximise their own skills and potentials to create distinctive yet complementary and cohesive outputs.
Posted 21 May 2021 19:41
Scan our QR code to get access to our catalogue (extended version) and find out more about the 'story' of Manchester, the Town Hall and Albert Square. Also, check out the thought process of our design for the Manchester BEE Pavilion to be constructed on Albert Square that aims to connect and share stories of Mancunians, past and present, to the wider community.
Posted 21 May 2021 19:58
Scan this QR code to get an exclusive tour into our Manchester BEE Pavilion in Albert Square!
Posted 21 May 2021 19:58

We are proud to present the final publication which we shared with our collaborator, Lendlease. We had a lovely chat, feedbacks and reflections towards the end of today's session. Can't believe how much work can be done for such a short period of time. Well done!
Posted 21 May 2021 20:47