Urbis is an exhibition centre located in central Manchester, England. From 2002 to 2010, the centre hosted changing exhibits on popular culture topics including urban living, art, music, fashion, photography and videogames alongside talks, gigs and special events. Urbis is currently closed while the interior space is adapted to permanently host the relocated National Football Museum.

The building
Urbis is located in a unique building in Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, designed by Ian Simpsons Architects with consulting engineers Martin Stockley Associates (now Stockley). The building opened in June 2002 as part of the redevelopment of the area around Exchange Square known as the Millennium Quarter. The exhibition space covered five floors and hosted temporary exhibitions running for between three to five months. Urbis also contained The Social (a bar and cafe), a shop, rooms for corporate hire and a restaurant and bar on the fifth and sixth floors. The offices and studios of Manchester's television station Channel M had been located in the building since August 2005.

National Football Museum
Urbis closed in February 2010 ahead of the building's conversion to house the National Football Museum from the summer of 2011. Plans to relocate the main exhibitions of the National Football Museum from Preston, Lancashire first emerged in 2009. The trustees of the museum cited long-term funding worries as the reason for choosing to relocate to Manchester, and were hoping to attract 400,000 visitors a year - four times the current figure. In an effort to thwart the relocation, the University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council put together a bid worth £400,000 per year to the museum; however, Manchester City Council's bid offered up to £2 million per year.

Exhibitions & Events

  • Reality Hack: Hidden Manchester
  • The Manchester Zinefest
  • How Manga took over the world
  • Urban Gardening
  • Emory Douglas retrospective
  • My first Pride

  • The Haçienda 25 The Exhibition: Fac 491
  • D&AD Exhibition: The Best Design and Advertising in the World
  • Catapult 07
  • Arrivals & Departures: New Art Perspectives of Hong Kong
  • PLAY: Experience the Adventure of Our Cities
  • Best of Manchester

  • Under Surveillance
  • British Art Show 6
  • Little Black Dress
  • D&AD: The Best Advertising Design in the World
  • Manchester 0161: This is what we're made of
  • The China Show
  • Make Me Shine

  • Rock 'n' Roll Icons: the photography of Mick Rock
  • Punk: Sex, Seditionaries and the Sex Pistols
  • SuperCity

  • Manchester 24
  • DTroit
  • The Sounds of Two Cities
  • Futuresonic04
  • The Peter Saville Show

  • Compost Cities
  • Ill Communication
  • Taxi!
  • Heliodays in the rainy city

  • Architecture by Stealth


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