The name Imperial War Museum in Manchester was the brainstorming of the domineering governments during the 1st World War , who had developed some interest in the setting up of a collection facility for the materials from the great war which was still going on. As a result, in 1917, the then cabinet therefore decided that a National War museum was worth setting up and the museum opened its doors for the first time in Crystal Palace under the leadership and supervision of King George V, on June 9, 1920.
However, from 1920 -1935 the growth and advancement of this museum was very slow and limited as it comprised of only two galleries adjoining the former Imperial Institute South Kensington. This was later relocated to its present location on July 7, 1936 by the then Duke of York who shortly after became King George IV.
Under his leadership, the collection of the war materials soon kicked off and to ensure the importance and seriousness of the whole process , the museum became a no-go zone to the public from September 1940 –November 1946. This was to ensure protection and reduce vulnerability to the war materials.
With the on-set of the 2nd world war , the museum was enlarged to include the military operations which Britain or commonwealth countries have since been involved , from August 1914. It’s present location was formerly known as Bethlem Royal Hospital or Bedlam whose history dates back to 1247.
The building is itself an attraction to around 400,000 visitors a year and was inspired by a renowned polish born architect by the name, Daniel Libeskind. The original plan called for concrete , final stainless steel sheet cladding due to financial constraints initially. However , today , it’s of great interest to current designers and architectural students as a whole. It also serves as a turning point for the rebirth of Manchester as a world-class architectural environment.
Functional and structure appraisal
The building comprises of three fragments which are interlocked to represent the un-ending global conflict on the land , water and the air at large. The skill and complexity of the museum’s interactive multimedia facilities elevate it highly to be a 21st century exhibition centre to reckon with which brings the instantaneous stark reality of war to both the old and young .
The Imperial Museum also serves as a major national art gallery , national records archive , and a research centre where much is on the display but differs on the degree of access due to reservations and importance on its collection.
The Imperial War Museum main functions seek to provide for and encourage the study and understanding of the history of the modern war and the dreaded war experience. It has affiliate branches namely The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall. This institution is partially government funded but requires sponsorship and donations to sustain its ambitious programs such as permanent display centre , archive , special exhibitions , forthcoming events, education programs , corporate hospitality and the ever increasing shopping facilities.
The impressive building in which the Museum stands symbolizes the shattering of the world by war , the main exhibition space leads through the 20th century history of recent conflicts and the impact these conflicts have on the youth and the endlessly bitter memories of the past from the old.
Significance to its environs
Basically, the whole concept of the Imperial War Museum is that of a world torn apart and then sewn together as an iconic emblem of conflict. The entire building exists in the horizon of the imagination and is visible across the strategic points of the city and its neighborhood.
The Imperial War Museum is actually a constellation composed of three interlocking shards namely, the earth which signifies the open air space of war and conflict , the Air which serves as an entry into the museum observation and education spaces , and finally the Water , which is a viewing canal.
All above compliment the area in which the museum project stands forming a centre out of the disparate surroundings. The Lowry Centre, Manchester United Football Fields and the Manchester Ship Canal transport and system for instance are all intertwined into a new perspective for pedestrian and those travelling by car.
It’s physically and extraordinarily evident that the Imperial War Museum truly portrays its particular and unique integration of architecture, exhibition design engineering and a vision of the past and the present. It thus acts as a constant reminder of the impact that war and conflict leave behind and a guide for the way forward in resolving such like crimes globally.
Despite its simplicity in construction , low maintenance costs, efficient usage , ecological responsibility, security and sensitivity awareness , the museum’s impacts a true new order and potential.