The Manufaktura opened on 17 May 2006, after 5 years of planning and the subsequent 4 years of construction. The total area of the complex is 27 hectares (67 acres). The work involved the renovation of an old factory building. The Manufaktura is located in the central part of the city, in the former industrial complex founded by Izrael Poznański, which is known also as the filming location of the novel by Władysław Reymont titled The Promised Land about the industrialization of the city of Łódź.
The revival was aimed at preserving the place’s ancient atmosphere, and, therefore, the Manufaktura is now dominated by genuine industrial architecture, with unplastered red brick buildings. The complex’s trademark is the old, five-storey spinning mill in Ogrodowa Street, built between 1877 and 1878 (which explains the name of the complex). In 2009, a four-star Andel’s hotel opened there. All the other buildings of the complex keep a similar style, but are of a lesser size. The exception to this is the main shopping hall, which is a brand-new structure made of glass and steel. It is lower than the surrounding brick buildings, and therefore, it cannot be seen from the outside.
One of the entrances to the Manufaktura complex leads through the ancient, triumphal arch-like gate of the old spinning mill. The whole complex, with its concept of mixing the old and the new, was designed by the British firm Virgile & Stone from London, in collaboration with the French architecture firm Sud Architectes from Lyon. The original industrial buildings were designed by the famous Łódź architect Hilary Majewski in 1872.
The Manufaktura hosts over 300 stores, malls, restaurants, pastry shops, cafes, pubs and other services. The service sector extends over 12,000 m². The entire complex has a surface of 30,000 m², making it Poland's second largest only to the Old Market Square in Kraków. Its large square features Europe's longest fountain at 300 meters. Clients can go along the complex with two trambuses.
Besides the commercial area, the Manufaktura includes a restaurant complex, car parks, a cultural centre (including an art museum, a science museum, an industrial museum, and the Museum of the City of Łódź – the last of which is situated in the neighbouring Izrael Poznański’s Palace), and an entertainment centre (featuring a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley, a climbing wall, a fitness club, and a skatepark).
- "Manufaktura in Łódź". Poland.travel National Tourist Office (official website). pp. 1 of 2. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- The Manufaktura's website in English. Featuring Timeline of history, 1851–2006 at En.Manufaktura.com