The Lowry Arts Centre
The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex situated on Pier 8 at Salford Quays, in Salford, Greater Manchester. It is named after the early-20th century painter, L. S. Lowry, known for his paintings of industrial scenes in Salford, Manchester & around North West England.
The Lowry was officially opened on 12 October 2000 by Queen Elizabeth II.
In order to redevelop the derelict Manchester Docks, Salford City Council developed a regeneration plan in 1988 for the brownfield site which highlighted the leisure, cultural and tourism potential of the area and included a flagship development which would involve the creation of a performing arts centre. The initial proposals were for two theatres and an art gallery on a prominent site on Pier 8.
Between 1990 and 1991 a competition was launched and architects James Stirling Michael Wilford Associates was selected. After Sir James Stirling's death in June 1992 Michael Wilford continued the project. The city council bid for Millennium and other British and European funds and private sector finance to progress the project. Funding was secured in 1996 and The Lowry Trust became responsible for the project which comprised The Lowry Centre, the plaza, a footbridge, a retail outlet shopping mall and Digital World Centre.
The complex is located close to the Imperial War Museum North and the Old Trafford football stadium. It is served by the MediaCityUK stop on the Metrolink tram network & In 2010 and 2011 it was Greater Manchester's most visited tourist attraction.
The Lowry was described as "not quite 'Salford's Guggenheim'... It is ultimately too small and too well behaved... although there are obvious shared aims", a reference to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which was built for similar reasons.The Lowry footbridge which spans the ship canal was designed by Carlos Fernandez Casado and built by Parkmans of Salford.