gif gif



Manchester Letherium



When is an architectural competition not an architectural competition? A project by Rebecca Duclos and David K. Ross


The Manchester Letherium project, at its most basic level, proposed an architectural competition to build a storage facility for unwanted cultural artifacts. At another level, however, the project operated within an entirely different framework. The conceit of the Letherium as a piece of fiction—its original history and purpose, as well as its rejuvenated mandate and new corporate identity—were all elements of a conceptual artwork implemented by Duclos and Ross.

  The project website provided site data
including base maps, photography, and 'historical information'.


The Manchester Letherium project used the trope of an architectural competition to investigate the parallel problems of cultural and urban ‘redundancy’— key issues in both the museological and urban morphological arenas at present. Formulated to address the sticky and perennial problem of artifact disposal from cultural institutions, the competition was, at the same time, a critique of urban regeneration efforts.

Use arrows to see a selection of various finalists in the competition, or see all finalists' projects here.

The Manchester Letherium project culminated in an exhibition of twelve finalist proposals, and received local, national and international press coverage.

      Left: cover feature for Prospect of Letherium proposal. Right: press clipping from CityLife Magazine.
Click either image to see larger versions.