The Imperial War Museum North is located in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, England and it is sometimes referred to as IWM North. Daniel Libeskind designed the museum that opened in July 2002.In its first year of opening the museum received about 470.000 visitors. Although the museum was appreciated for its architecture-being nominated with different awards and prizes, it has also received its share of critiques because it is not energy efficient.
The museum has an interesting view of the Manchester Ship Canal in Trafford Park and when it comes to history the entire area was a very important industrial center. This is why during WW2 it was heavily bombed in 1940 in the Manchester Blitz. Things have changed and the area now hosts Lowry cultural center and the MediaCityUK development,which are opposite the museum at Salford Quays.
Libeskind tried to create an emotional state-of-the-art building in the sense that he envisioned a constellation that was made of three shards-each shard reminding us of history and what conflict means. The shards suggest the idea of elements,each shard representing earth,air and water,diving the museum into three parts.
The 55 m high shard that represents the air encapsulates the balcony above the Manchester Ship Canal,offering a beautiful view of the Manchester skyline and it also inclused the museum`s entrance way. The exhibition area is dominated by the earth shard while the water shard has a café that offers the view of the canal.
At first the museum was supposed to be budgeted at £40 million but when finding out the expected National Lottery funding wouldn`t come the building was completed for £28.5 million. The tower has a dramatic effect on the visitors since its design reminds us of the dangerous aspects of life.