The thought-provoking exhibits in this striking, aluminum-clad building, which architect Daniel Libeskind described as representing three shards of an exploded globe, present the reasons for war and show its effects on society. Three Big Picture audiovisual shows envelop you in the sights and sounds of conflicts from 1914 to the present, and a storage system has trays of objects to examine, including artifacts from the 2003 war in Iraq. The Air Shard, a 100-foot viewing platform, gives a bird's-eye view of the city. Excellent special exhibitions cover everything from women in industry during World War I to artistic responses to the Holocaust. The museum is on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford Quays, across the footbridge from the Lowry. It's a 10-minute (often breezy) walk from the Harbour City stop of the Metrolink tram.