Students from Manchester Met’s Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) will re-imagine Manchester Airport’s iconic chandeliers and design a new art installation that will be displayed in the heart of the airport’s new Terminal 2.

In collaboration with Manchester Airport and a local specialist sculptor, 15 architecture students will use glass from one of the original chandeliers that was previously on display in Terminal 1 to create a new piece of art that will become a centrepiece of the International Departure Lounge.

People who live in and travel from Manchester are invited to share their thoughts and feelings about travel to help inspire students’ designs which will aim to reflect on ‘Northern Identity’ and embody a ‘Sense of Place’ for the city.

The final design will be realised with the help of expert glass sculptor Liam Hopkins, who runs Denton-based Lazerian studio.

This project forms part of MSA Live, an annual programme of live projects which students undertake with external partners to create social impact or community benefit.

Emily Crompton, Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture, said: “Manchester School of Architecture is excited to be collaborating with Manchester Airport on their project to re-imagine the iconic glass chandeliers from Terminal 1.

“As part of MSA LIVE this project will see a group of 15 students working alongside an artist to design a new installation for the terminal using the original glass from the chandeliers.

“Their design work will be viewed by the thousands of passengers passing through Manchester Airport every day, providing a fantastic opportunity for both the students and airport.”

Jill Fraser, Transformation Programme Delivery Director at Manchester Airport, added: “The chandeliers are a huge part of the airport’s identity and it’s so exciting to be able to bring one of them back to life in our new Terminal 2. It’s especially good to be able to work with local people on the project, including the students at Manchester School of Architecture, Lazerian – and now everyone who fills in this survey.

“Here at Manchester Airport we’re proud to serve the people of the North and how better to represent that than with a piece of art that is not only made out of something that so many people have fond memories of but has also been inspired by the community.”

Liam Hopkins, of Lazerian, said: “I am thrilled to embark on this collaborative journey with Manchester Airport and the Manchester School of Architecture to breathe new life into the beloved glass chandeliers that have long been an emblem of the airport’s identity.

“Guiding the students from the Manchester School of Architecture through their MSA Live Project is both an honour and a stimulating challenge. Together, we are committed to fostering social impact and community benefit through our efforts.

“I eagerly anticipate witnessing the innovative solutions and creative visions we will bring to fruition, destined to adorn the newly redesigned departure hall of Terminal 2.”

Three chandeliers formed the centrepiece of the departure hall at Manchester Airport’s Terminal 1 when it first opened in 1962. The 17ft chandeliers feature 1,300 pieces of crystal between them and were designed by architect Stefan Buzas and hand blown by glass maker Bruno Zanetti at the Venini factory in Murano, Italy, at a cost of £3,000 each.

They were removed in 2003 for modernisation work on the terminal, and the chandelier students will work with has been kept in storage at the airport. The other two are on display at the World of Glass Museum in St Helens and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.  

The final artwork will be the centre piece of the second phase of the airport’s brand-new Terminal 2. The first phase opened in 2021 and features a striking honeycomb light installation, which helped it be awarded the prestigious UNESCO-backed Prix Versailles for design and architecture last year.

To find out more about MSA Live and working with students on a future project please visit MSA Live webpage