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Music Boxes, Manchester International Festival


Location Client Completion
Media City, Salford Quays, UK MIF Creative, BBC, Salford City Council and Abu Dhabi Festival 1-17 July 2011

Project details

A melodic adventure for children ages 6 months to 7 years.

A mini city of shipping containers kitted out as miniature performance spaces, specially adapted recording and animation studios or interactive installations allowing the very young to explore a fantasy world of sound and music

78 containers are stacked up to three high in an irregular pattern to create an elliptical, enveloping shape, to replicate the geometry of sound

The design captures the spirit of the shipping container as the ubiquitous tool of world trade and a true 20th century icon, with canopies evoking sails, wire rigging and tarpaulins.

We're committed to making high quality work for children, an area which can often be undervalued. We're pleased to be collaborating with these fantastic artists, the BBC, Salford City Council and BDP on such an exciting, ambitious project.

Festival Director Alex Poots


  • create an installation using shipping containers at the new home of Children’s BBC in the UK
  • design a musical playground for children


  • a playful and creative project resonating literally and figuratively with its surroundings
  • a reflection of both the industrial heritage of Salford Quays and the next chapter of its regeneration

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