The museum was founded to preserve, conserve and interpret several important collections of association football memorabilia. The original museum building at Preston North End’s redeveloped Deepdale Stadium was designed by OMI Architects and was opened by HRH Duke of Kent in 2001. After more than 10 years the Museum relocated to larger premises at Urbis in Manchester city centre in 2012.

The original OMI building in Preston was a bespoke response to the challenge of siting an independent museum within the structure and grounds of a 24,000-seater football stadium. The exhibition spaces are located beneath the terraces of the stands and the new entrance building connects them together and controls the movement system around the museum as a whole. The tall volume of the foyer, with its massive Eric Cantona sculpture, is day-lit through the giant ‘football net’ glazing overhead. From here a journey along ramps, stairs and bridges is gradually revealed, weaving in and out of a red screen wall that binds the sequence of spaces together. On the way, you are reminded of where the action takes place, as you glimpse back into the lush green of Preston North End’s playing surface.

Although not a large building, the massing echoes the strong shapes and heroic scale of its stadium neighbour. Whilst it is carefully stitched into the existing structure, it retains an independence that gives the museum its own clear identity.

CLIENT – The National Football Museum
STATUS – Completed
VALUE – £7.2M
LOCATION – Preston, Lancashire
Structural Engineer
Campbell Reith Hill
Mechanical Engineer
The Blezard Partnership
Quantity Surveyor
Project Manager
Exhibition Designer
Main Contractor

– 2001 Roses Design Awards Commendation
– 2001 Manchester Society of Architects Award Winner