The Old Quadrangle – which houses the Whitworth Arch, Whitworth Hall, John Owens Building, Christie Building, and the Beyer Laboratory – is to be remodelled.
As the oldest part of the University, this is the first time in 70 years that the Old Quad will be significantly changed as the University prepares for its bicentenary celebrations in 2024.
In a University announcement, it was stated that the remodelling will remove the tarmac car park to the left hand side of the Whitworth Arch.
The new Quad is part of the University’s “commitment to providing additional green spaces and seating” on campus.
Although the remodelling is planned to be a “differentiated solution” which “stands out from other surrounding areas,” it will be in line with the pre-existing design and look of the courtyard.
The “reimagined location” aims to reflect the University’s “continued commitment to innovation and sustainability.”
The work is expected to begin in January 2024, with a provisional completion date of May 2024.
Meanwhile, contractors will be onsite preparing the area in advance of the official January start date.
This iconic area on campus is well-known for its central role in students’ graduation ceremonies, and for its much-photographed ivy wall, the series of colourful leaves that adorns the Beyer Laboratory.
The Old Quad houses the original buildings of Owens College, built under John Owens in 1851. The University’s existence stems back to Owens College, before it became a college under Victoria University in 1880.
Victoria University and Owens College were merged in 1904 to become Victoria University of Manchester. This lasted until 2004, when the University of Manchester was formally inaugurated.