The £11.5m Schuster Annexe will be constructed on the eastern side of the existing building, notable for housing the laboratories where super material graphene was first isolated.
The proposed four-storey building on the corner of Upper Brook Street and Brunswick Street will be directly connected to the Schuster Building, with a metal bridge.
Manchester University’s procurement team has opted to award the project outside its existing trio of framework partners: Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourk, Sir Robert McAlpine.
These firms were lined up to deliver who have been signed up to deliver the £1bn campus expansion programme on projects worth more than £10m by 2022.
But the University has run into problems on several of the major schemes, with McAlpine failing to negotiate a final price on its £30m planned graphene engineering innovation centre.
The university has also suspended plans for a £170m new student village at Owens Park because bid prices came in over estimates.