The Fibre Gallery is a textile recycling centre that exposes the people of Manchester to the processing of textiles on their journey from waste to woven fabric. Using selective visuals, a connection between production and consumer is captured that has the ability to transform our city’s consumer habits by revealing the truth behind ethical and slow fashion. Celebrating the wonders of rebirthing fibres, through close experiences, this site is activated by curiosity and provides the diverse neighbourhoods with a place for escapism.
The project is stitching the recycling process into the circular economy of Manchester’s fashion industry, demanding a role in the movement towards reducing textile waste and the industry’s impact on the environment. Bringing local production to the public and the city centre, we normalise and increase opportunities for sustainable activities.
Bouncing off of the role that Mancunians played under The Industrial Revolution, this design brings to the forefront those same progressive attitudes that this city has since stood for. Salvaging the bricks removed from Mayfield’s development, this project establishes a contemporary factory typology that communicates a nostalgic juxtaposition to the public, with an historic façade and modern interior. The contrast between what once was and what now should be, is a statement further brought about by the focus on the healthy working standards inside the building, as natural and warm materials coat the walls alongside passive ventilation.
The Mancunian Way acts as a detached ceiling to the public realm created on this site, sheltering a square for refuge from the chaos of vehicles. Retaining the structure and surfaces of the highway leaves the columns to behave as ruins, embedded within the scheme, these colossal interruptions remind the users and visitors of their human scale amongst the past’s industrial architecture.