Group 07

Levenshulme Old Library, a symbol of community protest, is a vibrant community space in perpetual flux, adapting and unfolding to embrace diverse cultures and facilitate creative communities. As architecture students, we will envision the future of the Old Library; actively shaping it by exploring the the essence of ‘the Library’ in contemporary society. Immersing ourselves in the community through creative workshops we will consider the future of ‘the library’ from a child’s perspective, we aim to capture its essence and present our innovative proposals to the client, crafting exhibition pieces that reflect our journey and vision for the library’s dynamic future.

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Christiana K / Urvi N / Arun VS / Fariba SF

I'm Fariba Sadeghi Far, from Iran. I'm thrilled to be studying MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse at Manchester Metropolitan University. This course really excites me because it allows me to merge historical elements with modern design, which I find fascinating.
My journey in architecture started at Bojnurd University in Iran, where I graduated in Architectural Engineering. But my interests aren’t confined to architecture alone; I also love drawing, making sculptures, and singing. These artistic pursuits enrich my understanding and appreciation of design, adding depth to my architectural work.
Being part of LOL, I bring my passion for architecture's technical and creative sides. My diverse skills and interests help us explore innovative and adaptable design solutions, contributing to our team's dynamic and forward-thinking approach to architecture and adaptive reuse.
Posted 12 Mar 2024 14:29
My name is Christiana Koumi. I'm Greek-Albanian and I'm currently studying MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse. Prior to coming to Manchester for my second master's, I studied in Albania and Florence, Italy. After graduation, I was involved in the university as an assistant tutor while also participating in several architectural projects.
I have always been interested in history and heritage and have had an active role in several workshops about 'integrated digital surveys' and restoration of historical sites. That’s why this project is quite exciting because it is about history, architecture, and community, which makes this project really meaningful.
I am a very organized person, I love coffee and good food. Outside of architecture, I like to travel to explore new places and take photos. I can speak 5 foreign languages, one more reason why I enjoy traveling and getting to know new cultures and learning as many foreign languages as possible.
Posted 12 Mar 2024 20:36
Hey there!
I'm Urvi Nandha. I'm thrilled to be working on a live project at MSA and connecting with the wider Manchester community.
A little about me: I love meeting new people, collecting stories through photography, travelling, and generally - being inspired.
I'm passionate about learning of all kinds and I study architecture to understand more about the world around us.
Over the last few years, I've been involved in exciting initiatives like NY-LON and the National Saturday Club. I've worked in Prague, London, and Manchester and travelled around Europe too. This opportunity to learn with students and the community alike is incredibly exciting for me, and I’m curious to see how this experience will teach me something new. Looking forward to connecting with the students and community.
Posted 14 Mar 2024 11:23
Atelier:  SKN


I'm Arun, a creative maverick torn between the worlds of artistry and architecture. Above all, I passionately identify as an artist. Fueled by an insatiable curiosity and an unwavering belief in the power of storytelling, I embark on a quest to unveil the narratives woven into every brushstroke and structural line. I reject conventional boundaries, seeking to transcend the limitations of traditional architectural practice. For me, each building, sculpture, and canvas is a platform for human experience and expression. With unyielding dedication, I delve into the hidden stories behind art and architecture. I invite you to join me on a journey where imagination knows no bounds and where every creation holds the promise of a new narrative waiting to be discovered.
Posted 15 Mar 2024 12:39
Meeting the Collaborators

Richard Hirst has expressed the intention to implement numerous enhancements to the existing space. The current layout presents challenges, especially during periods of heightened activity, as the main space becomes congested and poses security concerns regarding unfamiliar individuals. Additionally, the inconvenience of accessing essential facilities such as toilets and the kitchen, situated within the main space, limits the utilization of the side of the building where they are located. To address these issues, the proposed plan involves relocating the bathrooms and kitchen to a more accessible area by knocking down the wall adjacent to the kitchen. This redesign would create a separate space with independent access, thereby facilitating community engagement. Furthermore, there is a desire to optimize the smaller area of the building for cultural events, particularly theatrical performances, for which a small auditorium with tiered seating may be deemed necessary.
Posted 15 Mar 2024 16:58
Meeting the Collaborators

Laura Deane's contributions regarding the "Levenshulme Old Library" encompass a thorough understanding of its historical significance and architectural features, coupled with a forward-thinking vision for its transformation into a multifunctional community hub. She envisions a dynamic space that seamlessly integrates various activities, emphasizing flexibility, usability, and inclusivity.
To achieve this, Laura proposes reimagining the layout to maximize adaptability, removing barriers, and creating open areas conducive to exhibitions, workspaces, and performances. She advocates for the inclusion of a functional kitchen and additional toilets to accommodate increased foot traffic, ensuring visitor comfort and convenience.

Aesthetically, she envisions a vibrant and colorful environment that fosters energy and creativity, with walls adorned in lively hues to inspire productivity and engagement. Laura's vision reflects a commitment to innovation and inclusivity, blending the building's rich history with new possibilities to create a vibrant space for connection, creation, and celebration.
Furthermore, she acknowledges the community's desire for a dedicated stage or performance area equipped with proper lighting and sound facilities, adaptable to various types of performances, from live music to theatrical productions.
Posted 18 Mar 2024 14:21

During the MSA Live Action Week in parallel to the outputs that we are producing for our clients, we will be conducting our own personal inquiries into the future of ‘The Library’. Over the 10 days, our reflections will help us produce exhibition pieces as findings, that we will share with the Levenshulme Old Library and the MSA community.

Students will be able to freely explore their ideas in the above outputs, with the support of Masters students and their expertise.
Posted 19 Mar 2024 14:04
First site visit - Meet the Collaborators

The brief encounter during the site visit sparked numerous vital discussions, inquiries, and visions regarding the future direction of Levenshulme Old Library. It became evident how the building inherently possesses a wealth of unspoken potential, nurtured by dedicated, imaginative, and impassioned groups and individuals. Existing tenants and stakeholders have collectively fostered an inclusive and vibrant environment conducive to the arts and the well-being of both Levenshulme residents and visitors alike. Levenshulme Old Library CIO stands poised to leverage this existing richness, allowing the process of refurbishment, remodelling, and potential expansion to commence from a foundation of strength rather than starting from scratch. The project brief for Levenshulme Old Library should thoroughly explore various options and interpretations to enhance its visibility and imbue the Old Library with a revitalized identity.
Posted 19 Mar 2024 17:09
As a part of exploring the future of 'the library', we are hosting a competition for students between the ages of 8 and 16 to express their thoughts on how they see the future of the library to be. 


Reimagine the future of the Levenshume Old Library. Unleash your creativity and envision what libraries of the future might look like. Libraries have always been pillars of knowledge, community, and exploration, and now it's time to dream up their next chapter. Whether it's through art, writing, or innovative ideas, we want to hear your vision for how libraries will evolve to inspire future generations. 

We allow the participants to choose their own medium of expression. 
Posted 19 Mar 2024 23:15
Group meeting - Preparations for the action week

During the group meeting to prepare for the action week, the analysis phase involves examining various aspects to inform your planning and decision-making. This includes reviewing how previous action weeks have gone, understanding what worked well and what didn't, assessing the skills and resources available within the team, and considering any external factors that could influence your plans. By thoroughly analyzing these elements, we could better understand the starting point and make informed decisions on how to approach the upcoming action week effectively.
Posted 6 May 2024 21:32
Day 1 - Meeting the Group & Site Visit

Meeting with the group of students nearby the site involving a dynamic approach to learning, integrating exploration, analysis, and discussion.
Begin with a brief introduction, welcoming the students and providing an overview of the agenda for the day. Explain the significance of the area and the building they will be visiting, setting the context for their exploration. Lead the group on a walking tour of the area surrounding the site, pointing out notable landmarks, historical features, and architectural elements. Encourage students to observe and take note of their surroundings, fostering an appreciation for the context in which the building exists.
Posted 7 May 2024 22:31

After lunch we went to class where we got to know the project better and analyzed all the information about the building. We also get to know each other better by doing some ice-breaking activities, sketching each other. Then we prepare for the next day's tasks.
Posted 7 May 2024 22:53
Day 2 - Redesigning Concepts Ideas

The students were engaged in a hands-on exercise in reimagining the library space. Analysing it from different perspectives can lead to creative solutions and fresh ideas for its transformation. They come up with particularly interesting and innovative suggestions.
Posted 8 May 2024 22:19
Redesigning Concepts Ideas
Posted 9 May 2024 11:28
Redesigning Concepts Ideas

This collage shows how the Levenshume Old Library has been repurposed, resulting in a vibrant community hub nestled in a peaceful residential neighbourhood. It highlights the wide range of activities that occur in this one location; there have been efforts to create a network, by building the New Arcadia Library, ensuring that Levenshume still has this amenity available.
Posted 9 May 2024 11:32
Check out how our icebreaker turned out! We asked the students to produce portraits as they got to know one another. It's been great to see them support each other and help each other learn new skills over the last few days.
Posted 10 May 2024 15:24
Day 3 - Physical Model

At the B15 workshop, we translated the plan of the Levenshume Old Library into a base on a physical model. This facilitated a clearer understanding and presentation of proposed designs within the existing context.
Posted 10 May 2024 15:54
Day 4 - Analysis of the Internal Space

On the fourth day of their active week, the students engaged in a focused effort to adapt the internal spaces of the old library. The interior space was carefully divided into three distinct areas, each identified for improvement based on feedback from one of the collaborators involved in the project.
To express their ideas and opinions effectively, the students utilized sketches and zoning techniques. Through these visual aids, they were able to articulate their vision for transforming the interior spaces of the library.
Posted 10 May 2024 22:40
Posted 10 May 2024 23:26
Day 5 - Develop the Concepts and Proposals

Today, the students delved deeper into analysing the interior layout of the old library through collages. Among the collaborators outputs emerged a proposal to transform a section of the building into a theater, dedicated for children attending theater classes to showcase their performances.
Posted 13 May 2024 21:32
Day 5 - Develop the Concepts and Proposals

BA1 and BA2 students working in groups with the help of Master students to develop their ideas on the concepts of how the spaces of the old library will be transformed to suit the needs of the community.
Posted 13 May 2024 21:48
Day 5 - Develop the Concepts and Proposals

Concept Idea of one of the BA2 students (Anishka) on how one of the spaces of the old library can be adapted to be converted into a theater space for the children of the community
Posted 13 May 2024 21:54
Day 6 - Develop the Concepts and Proposals
Posted 14 May 2024 21:48
Day 6 - Develop the Concepts and Proposals

Today, the team focused on refining their proposals. Both BA1 and BA2 students collaborated to interpret their ideas, sketches, and collages using various 2D and 3D software tools, with guidance from master students.
Posted 14 May 2024 21:52
Day 7: Today the students were working on their exhibition pieces and refining their design explorations for their collaborators. Diona Iseini (BA2) produced an illustration exploring a temporary structure for the 'theatre' space.
Posted 15 May 2024 22:04
Day 7 - Final Exhibition Proposals.

During today's day the students worked on their proposals for the exhibition, on the different alterations that the old library space can undergo and some furniture ideas that can be used to reevaluate the space.
Eliott (BA2) produced an illustration exploring a temporary structure for the 'theatre' space. While Naia (BA1) did some alterations in the plan of the old library.
Posted 15 May 2024 22:51
Day 8 - Composition of the Final Project

Eye for Details_ Eliott's (BA2) modular cube was developed for construction. The exploded axonometry illustration depicts the construction and joinery details.
Posted 16 May 2024 16:30
Day 8 - Composition of the Final Project
Posted 16 May 2024 18:18
A'lla Ibrahim, on our earlier site visit was drawn to the ornamental features of the L.O.L building; particularly the tiles at the entrance of the site. Following on from earlier client conversations, A'lla was inspired by these features and chose to explore them further in her response to improving the library through the installation of a stained glass window portal, taking into consideration the community of artisans connected to L.O.L. A'lla's exhibition response was thoughtful in function as well as aesthetic, as she sought to actively improve features that were in disrepair whilst celebrating the identity of the space! We're very proud and impressed by the thoughtful and sincere approach to design the students exhibited through the Action Weeks.
Posted 18 May 2024 14:18
Posted 18 May 2024 14:19
Posted 18 May 2024 14:19
Though L.O.L stopped operating as a conventional library, it prevails to be a popular and essential resource for Levenshulme, providing community members spaces to perform and facilitate creative community-driven activities. This MSA Live project prompted me to consider "resource" and the act of 'borrowing'. Much like books, the users of Levenshulme Old Library 'check out' spaces. I explored this concept through the information we borrow from other people. MTC, despite being a host for architectural students, has little 'resources' available other than 'human resources'.
Posted 18 May 2024 14:19
"The past two weeks have been very positive. Although communicating with the collaborators was difficult as the facility is entirely run by a few volunteers, it meant that as a team we had to work even more closely together and think creatively to create solutions to the problems we saw. Working on a real project which we physically visited was helpful as someone who often finds it difficult to conceptualize space. I really enjoyed working through plan iterations and thinking about how to manipulate space based on different design drivers and considerations. In studio, there is always a pressure to produce a set output so working through plans often feels rushed and sometimes I do not understand why one plan works better than another. MSA LIVE has allowed me to fully brainstorm and consider space without the pressure of a studio brief and weekly tutorials. As well as this, the opportunity to work with students in different years of study was great. We were able to learn more about different ways of working and get feedback and advice as well as offer feedback and provide constructive feedback to one another." - Nia Peters
Posted 18 May 2024 14:19
Posted 18 May 2024 14:20