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Old July 31st, 2006, 07:37 PM   #1
Biosonic
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Iconic Architecture (UK)

What is Iconic Architecture?

This thread is for the debate about iconic buildings and structures, and for some lovely pics of them

Please don't turn it into a slanging match!

IMO iconic architecture is something that doesn't need selling or advertising, and is talked about because people want to talk about it. It may be a benchmark for the future, or epitomise the best in its class. It is likely to represent the city/town area it is in.

Here are some modern examples:

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth


Eden Project, St Austell


Tyne Bridge, Newcastle


Selfridges, Birmingham


30 St Mary Axe, London
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Last edited by Biosonic; July 31st, 2006 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Addition n stuff
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Old August 1st, 2006, 12:44 AM   #2
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Picture courtesy of Manmed

The Manchester Hilton

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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrand
The Manchester Hilton

Errrr no.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:32 AM   #4
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the lowry centre, manchester:

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Old August 1st, 2006, 02:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BABYCAKES
Errrr no.
Beetham is iconic, whether you'd like to admit it or not babycakes?

In the right context Beetham represents Manchester, just like Selfridges represents Birmingham, the Sage represents Newcastle, the Liver Building represents Liverpool and The Gherkin represents London. All completely different, yet all associated with their respective cities.



CJC. (enough said)

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Old August 1st, 2006, 02:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrand
The Manchester Hilton


Quote:
Originally Posted by BABYCAKES
Errrr no.
err, yes

might not be everyones cup of tea but it is certainly different and origional.

therefore i think it is iconic
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Old August 1st, 2006, 02:37 AM   #7
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If these buildings were iconic you wouldn't have to include the name of the city they were in!

It may be different and unusual, but that doesn't make it iconic any more than it makes it a cat.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 02:57 AM   #8
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jrb,

I'm not sure that Beetham does represent Manchester in the UK, outside of Manchester or this forum anyway. It's fair to say that the average Joe Public would probably struggle to place any building and associate it readily with a city unless they've actually visited it or read about it. To back that point up, I went to London a couple of weeks ago with my other half, she saw the Gherkin and said 'that's where it is, I always wondered'.

Equally last year I met a group of friends from Manchester in Brum, Selfridges drew a simlar reaction, they all thought it was in London!

To me an iconic building is not necessarily a building to represent a city, it's a building someone looks at says 'wtf is that'. Beetham Manc you may well look at and say wow that's big but that's it. By that measure BT Tower Bham could be classed as iconic. CJC on the other hand (again imo) is or will be a truly iconic building, I can't get enough of it and it definatley has that 'wtf' factor. Also, and I stress that this is merely my opinion Lowry and IWMN are iconic designs that I don't think you Mancs make enough of.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 03:20 AM   #9
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Here are some structures that could be considered 'iconic':

B of the Bang (shite name)



Imperial War Museum north



Manchester Town Hall



Manchester Central Library



Urbis





However, i'd agree that Manchester doesn't have a 'defining' single iconic building, rather it has several, but to lesser extent. Perhaps what it lacks in a single defining structure it makes up with its style. Abit like what Stephen said in another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Robinson
See this Picture,



To be honest, not the greatist buildings in the world, but that's what I like about Manchester, the miles of this good victorian red brick stuff...
Y'know, the trams, coronation street housing, ancient warehouses and mills etc etc. Manchester's 'style', is perhaps iconic.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrb
Beetham is iconic, whether you'd like to admit it or not babycakes?

In the right context Beetham represents Manchester, just like Selfridges represents Birmingham, the Sage represents Newcastle, the Liver Building represents Liverpool and The Gherkin represents London. All completely different, yet all associated with their respective cities.
I don't think the Beetham represents Manchester - none of the Beetham Towers are particularly daring designs (although the height is) and, outside of Manchester and skyscraper fans, not that many people would be able to place it.

And I don't think the Lowry Centre or IWMN are high-profile enough, although when the BBC move to Salford and feature IWMN on more footage it may become better known.

IMO the CJC stands the best chance of becoming Manchester's first nationally or internationally iconic building.

The B of the Bang could be, but lacks the high profile of something like the Angel of the North.

Oh, and isn't Sage in Gateshead, not Newcastle?
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Old August 1st, 2006, 11:31 AM   #11
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I guess, outside of London and this forumn no buildings are iconic on an international scale?

Even though I said Old Trafford before, you wouldn't say it was instantly recognisable, then again probably only the Nou Camp and San Siro are truly original enough to be classed as iconic. (although the San Siro is a disgrace, a total wreck of a place outside of its actual design!)

I just don't see any UK building outside of London being internationally iconic. That will have more to do with media interest being focused on London than the merits of the building. Yes, Brum's Selfridges is unusual, but I don't think an averaged size (not a dig) department store in the UK will reasonate on an international scale.

However, in Uk terms surely Beetham Manc is iconic, like it or lump it it is the 7/8th (if you count Emley Moor) tallest structure in the UK and the only one outside London of any height impact. EVERYONE who comes to Manchester will see it, be impressed by its size (wether you like the design or not) and it will therefore become an iconic symbol of Manchester.

So...outside of London....

Beetham Manc
Brum Selfridges
Liverpool Liver Building (not the other graces)
York Minister
Durham Cathedral
Sailsbury Cathedral
Tyne Bridge
Brighton Pavillion
Blackpool Tower
Portmeirion

List based purely on what is visible to the most people
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Old August 1st, 2006, 11:34 AM   #12
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I think some buildings like the Lowry and IWMN may become iconic but there are plenty of new shiny, silver metal covered buildings in Britain and they are a bit to samey in finish material ....Gateshead thingy, Cardiff thingy, Glasgow thingy and Manchester's two thingy's
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Old August 1st, 2006, 11:49 AM   #13
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Good choice with Portmerion
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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFly
I guess, outside of London and this forumn no buildings are iconic on an international scale?

Even though I said Old Trafford before, you wouldn't say it was instantly recognisable, then again probably only the Nou Camp and San Siro are truly original enough to be classed as iconic. (although the San Siro is a disgrace, a total wreck of a place outside of its actual design!)

I just don't see any UK building outside of London being internationally iconic. That will have more to do with media interest being focused on London than the merits of the building. Yes, Brum's Selfridges is unusual, but I don't think an averaged size (not a dig) department store in the UK will reasonate on an international scale.

However, in Uk terms surely Beetham Manc is iconic, like it or lump it it is the 7/8th (if you count Emley Moor) tallest structure in the UK and the only one outside London of any height impact. EVERYONE who comes to Manchester will see it, be impressed by its size (wether you like the design or not) and it will therefore become an iconic symbol of Manchester.

So...outside of London....

Beetham Manc
Brum Selfridges
Liverpool Liver Building (not the other graces)
York Minister
Durham Cathedral
Sailsbury Cathedral
Tyne Bridge
Brighton Pavillion
Blackpool Tower
Portmeirion

List based purely on what is visible to the most people
Ah,Blackpool tower that to me is iconic, not just to Blackpool but the whole English seaside thing like the piers, fish and chips and sticks of rock etc.I think Beetham Manc is becoming an icon because of it unusal top heavy shape, everyone whose been to Manchester who have not visited for a while have made a comment about,and even the sort of people who are usually indifferent to these things, so it must make a big impression on people.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 06:24 PM   #15
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Cardiff's two 'Millennium's'. The Millennium Centre would be recognised probably by most people in Wales, and by opera fans throughout the UK, and I would reckon that the stadium is probably recognisable around the UK. I would certainly class them as iconic and defining buildings for Cardiff, anyway.

In both cases people have been attracted to events at these venues as much for experiencing the buildings as for the event itself. This factor alone I would say contributes to 'icon' status.


Millennium Centre:





Millennium Stadium:

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Old August 1st, 2006, 06:33 PM   #16
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I would not consider the Manchester Central Library iconic. And especially not CJC. I did not have a clue that CJC even existed until I read the Rate A Scraper thread. The Rotunda and Selfridges are iconic of Birmingham. Birmingham City Council try to portray Holloway Circus Tower as iconic but it wont be.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 07:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erebus555
I would not consider the Manchester Central Library iconic. And especially not CJC. I did not have a clue that CJC even existed until I read the Rate A Scraper thread. The Rotunda and Selfridges are iconic of Birmingham. Birmingham City Council try to portray Holloway Circus Tower as iconic but it wont be.

wait till the cjc opens, it will be in every architectual magazine
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Old August 1st, 2006, 07:24 PM   #18
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I still dont see whats special about it though.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:58 AM   #19
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I think we have to be careful about the word 'iconic' and not confuse it with 'landmark' (many of which the aforementioned buildings are) or 'recognisable'.

The Oxford Dictionary says of an icon:- "a person (or item) regarded with particular admiration or as a representative symbol." Derived from the Greek EIKON - image.

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Old August 2nd, 2006, 06:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
I did not have a clue that CJC even existed
Box, ignorant...
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