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Old June 5th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #601
Farsight
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After my recent trip to Manchester University I have zero confidence in anything these clowns do. The place was a tacky dump. And I can't see the economic sense in losing Chem Eng and M&SS when they could be spruced up and used for student residence. All part of the "ivy league" vision that puts old stone in all the photographs I suppose. Yet when you actually get there and walk around, it all looks like a third world industrial estate. I shudder to think of all the money that's been wasted doing this.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 12:36 PM   #602
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Hang on a minute, I thought this was the Chem Eng building. Maybe I'm mistaken. Apologies in advance.

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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #603
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Thanks Sleepy. Looks like the end is nigh for both the Maths and Social Science Tower and the Chemical Engineering buildings. Your beloved Reynold Building appears to make the grade.

Actually Sleepy I'm surprised you do not lament the loss of the Chemical Engineering place, thought that would have been right up your street?
Yes, if this masterplan has any weight it does indeed look like we will be waving goodbye to the chem eng plant. An excellent facility in its own right but as a building I won't be shedding any tears. The opportunity to improve the disjointed urban fabric in the way the proposed building presents would be a great thing for the futher development of a fast improving corner of the city. I would be slightly concerned about East-West permeability though, but I guess a substantial building is needed to "balance" the incredible presence of the MacDonald Hotel.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 11:37 PM   #604
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The Chem Eng Building is ace and so is the sculptural wall by Antony Holloway along London Road that you all probably dont know about.
The University seems to have immunity from normal planning but i will be keeping an eye on things.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 01:37 AM   #605
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Yes, if this masterplan has any weight it does indeed look like we will be waving goodbye to the chem eng plant. An excellent facility in its own right but as a building I won't be shedding any tears. .
well I would certainly be shedding tears - both for this, and for the Mathematics & Social Sciences Tower. These are key buildings by Manchesters two most important architectural practices of the mid 1960s - Fairhursts and Cruikshand & Seward. Both merit listing.

Demolishing the Maths tower on Oxford Road was a serious act of vandalism - but the former UMIST site is a far more important architectectural enviroment - an entire 60s urban campus in a consistent language of high quality concrete. The entire complex should be retained and re-used.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 10:55 AM   #606
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Well said Nerd.

OK I can appreciate that buildings get tired, and sometimes it's liberating to get rid and start again from a clean slate. But the new university buildings I'm seeing are shite. There's an excess of ironwork, too much cheap cladding, too much mishmash mixture. The overall effect isn't Ivy League mixed in with 21st Century Science Park, it's Industrial Estate. And it's scruffy, dirty, with weedy verges and broken pavements.

Architecty was giving me stick for being an outsider living in Sandbanks - I've been to Manchester plenty of times over the years, but what I haven't done for a long time is gotten out of the car and actually walked around the campus, at length. I used to sail past looking up at the Maths Tower, but this time I was on foot, it was gone, and my eyes were drawn to all the dirt and mesh and fire-escape tack. You know what my daughter said? What she said is: What a dump. I'm not coming here.

OK it isn't all bad. The MIB isn't bad, but it lacks stature, it's plain vanilla with stick-on glitz and the scrapiron end lets it down. There are other buildings that aren't bad. But the campus overall is looking just shite. These guys are going backwards, like the 1824 in the logo, and blowing mountains of money out of their arses building ****-up city. ******* Emperor's New Clothes clowns.

Can somebody talk a walkabout with a camera and photograph some of this stuff please. Do it on a Sunday morning.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #607
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Masterplanning work ongoing for part of the UMIST site.

The fact that it says UMIST on means it dated. Nothing since the merge is allowed to refer to UMIST.

By the sounds of it though, the MSS is as good as gone. There's not many people in it and more are moving out this summer.

The conference centre is to be sold. as is the Fairbairn. The lease is up on Lambert hall and is apparently not going to be renewed (though the buildings will remain, just privately owned). The moffat building is bound to go, due to its location and dimunative stature. Wrigh Robinson Hall I'm pretty sure will be demolished eventually, though the students union will probably be spared for some time. And if all this happens The morton laboratory (chem Eng) will find itself isolated and in a prime spot for a redevelopment.

Check out the building location on the map. The pattern is celar to see.
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/visitors...aps/numerical/
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Old June 6th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #608
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Oh dear Farsight, back to your old tricks of putting words in my mouth. I don’t care where you live, but after years of reading your rants it rather sticks in the throat when you hadn’t even physically seen Contact 8 years after it was built. It just put some of your “strongly held views” in perspective. I personally don’t ever comment on anything that I haven’t seen in the flesh/visited the site, I would want to be sure of my own opinion before I shared it with others.

I find it fairly impossible to see how you can cast such damning judgement on the new university buildings (humanities excepted) when most are still under construction. The really bad stuff is all several decades old, and even with £600 million, you can’t replace everything at once. I dont think it will be possible to really judge the changes to the campus until this phase is complete, and all its associated landscaping is there too.

I am curious as to what you think your point is when you go all Emperors new clothes on us, no one on the university board had the guts to mention that there weren’t any buildings on the plans? Or did you just miss the point of that fable and actually think it was a critique on the fashions he was sporting? No seriously, why do you think that phrase sums up the problems in modern architectural procurement, and the kind of buildings it results in? If the Pic pavilion and SCAN were both the results of Emperors new clothes lemming like design in architecture, then why do they look so unalike?

A large proportion of the university campuses in this country I have visited are far uglier and more often then not isolated, ghettoised and utterly depressing. Manchester/Man Met’s saving grace is their position on a major artery, with big city feel, and their proximity and integration into the city fabric. Only really Oxbridge campuses have held unadulterated wow for me, and they feel like educational theme parks at times. I believe Manchester still receives the most applications of any single university, so obviously the quality of education and student experience is winning through; but then this view has never screamed dump to me:
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Old June 6th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #609
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The fact that it says UMIST on means it dated. Nothing since the merge is allowed to refer to UMIST.

By the sounds of it though, the MSS is as good as gone. There's not many people in it and more are moving out this summer.

The conference centre is to be sold. as is the Fairbairn. The lease is up on Lambert hall and is apparently not going to be renewed (though the buildings will remain, just privately owned). The moffat building is bound to go, due to its location and dimunative stature. Wrigh Robinson Hall I'm pretty sure will be demolished eventually, though the students union will probably be spared for some time. And if all this happens The morton laboratory (chem Eng) will find itself isolated and in a prime spot for a redevelopment.

Check out the building location on the map. The pattern is celar to see.
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/visitors...aps/numerical/
: thanks for that Macc - but very dispiriting alas.

I am inclined to infer that the new combined university of Manchester is determined to wipe all that is distinct about the former UMIST from the map and memory; and will persist in that, to the extent of refusing to recognise any obligation to conserve a major element in the city's architectural heritage, and indeed blindly denying that these are buildings of outstanding quality and historic importance. Am I correct in this?

If the University cannot find a use for this complex of buildings - then the least they should do is to hand it over intact to somone who can. The case appears to me exactly the same as the dog-in-a-manger attitudes that are preventing re-use of the old Fire Station - except that the former UMIST campus is nationally and regionally important to a degree that the Fire Station is not.

Longford - get all these buildings listed
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Old June 6th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #610
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I totally agree, the Ex-UMIST campus in planning terms should not be lumped together with the Victoria university campus. No matter what the university now argues they are utterly distinct. Around UMIST has a fantastic atmosphere and some great quality architecture that in the main just needs quality refurbishment. It would be acceptable for a couple of the less distinct structures to be replaced, but not sold off to try and cash in on land values, and then result in a dilution of that campus with unconnected residential blocks or offices. There is a wonderful atmosphere of being cocooned from the rest of the city without being isolated that really should not be lost for quick fixes to their estate problems. The university’s continued aspiration to sell off the Sackville St building should also not be tolerated, if only because of its historical significance as a university building pre-dating Owens.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #611
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There's a lot of under-utilised space on the UMIST campus and its getting quieter each year. I'm sure this is part of the overall plan though and its nothing against UMIST, it just makes business sense.

Personally I'd like to see the area down London road between the viaduct and the mancunian way (where the new macdonald hotel is) completely redesigned into a true extension to the city centre. Ideally someone would buy the whole UMIST side of London road and create a masterplan for the entire area. It would include retail, leisure and generally buildings that can provide an experience for pedestrians, which will bring life into the place.

This is best achieved with a clean slate and buildings such as the moffat are tree trunks in the garden that just want uprooting.

I'd like to keep MSS but it sounds like its surplus to the Uni's requirements you can't really do anything with it, but demolish it and combine the footprint into a larger plot. Does anyone know of ex University buildings being used for new purpose after being sold?

I agree about the atmosphere of the UMIST campus but I think this feel is strongest in the area from sackville street building, through the viaduct and into the square outside the union and Renold building. None of this will be touched.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #612
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Longford - get all these buildings listed
Nobody listens to me anymore!

The Renold Building is on the desk of EH as we speak. Perhaps a letter 'From The Desk of Nerd' also championing it would help move things along?
The other option is to get the UMIST campus made into a conservation area. For all the reasons you already know about nerd its a possibility and believe me when i say you are not alone in thinking the UMIST campus is a special place.
It takes a nomination from the local councillor for the area within which the prospetive CA lies so you need to lobby who ever that is.
I'll statr working on it myself because macc's summary sounds a bit worrying to me.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #613
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I'll statr working on it myself because macc's summary sounds a bit worrying to me.
Its all speculation, of course. It could just be down to Chinese whispers, but it all sounds pretty feasible to me. Simply from the business perspective, there's a lot of ineficient use of the campus that could be cashed in on. And they're tring to pay off some debt.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #614
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Students mad for Manchester

Check out this tool. President of Salford Uni's student's union. See the bold quote, below. He wants sacking for saying that.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....nchester_.html

Students mad for Manchester
Dean Kirby
6/ 6/2007

STUDENTS love Manchester but hate Bolton and Salford, according to a new survey of university towns and cities.

Figures suggest undergraduates believe Manchester is one of the best places to study but Bolton and Salford are the worst.

Some 34,000 students gave 81 university locations marks out of 10 on topics such as going out, shops, community, transport and facilities for the survey, carried out by a student accommodation website.

The top spot was Aberystwyth in west Wales, with a rating of 64 per cent.

Manchester scored 62 per cent to share second place with Exeter, Brighton and four Scottish universities including Edinburgh and Glasgow.

But Bolton and Salford were at the bottom of the table. They both scored 44 per cent and received just three out of 10 for their nightlife.

Questioned by the M.E.N., students in Salford agreed that the city deserved its poor reputation, even though the university itself was good.

Andrew Snowden, present of the university's students' union, said: "The University of Salford is a great place to study and has a great future.

"However, its accommodation for students is lacking. The local community's hostility and the many physical assaults on students by local residents are key factors and, in all honesty, ensure the area lives up to its reputation as one of Britain's top 10 worst places to live."

Survey

But students in Bolton said they did like the town, despite what the survey found.

Damien Sutherland, president of the university's students' union, said: "I don't think Bolton's that bad. The people are very friendly and it's got its own appeal.

"Bolton is so near Manchester that a lot of students go there anyway."

Barnsley, Crewe and Stoke-on-Trent all fared better than Bolton and Salford in the survey, while Manchester scored higher than Oxford, Cambridge, Liverpool, Preston and Sheffield.

Simon Thompson, director of the website accommodationforstudents.com , said: "This information represents students' real opinions about where they study.

"It is helpful to students going to university for the first time. It is also useful to existing students looking to move as it also provides a breakdown of the best areas within towns and cities.

"Fallowfield, for instance, comes out as the top place to live for students in Manchester."
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Old June 6th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #615
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The thing is its probably true but to say such a thing is pretty divisive. Not that the scum bags in Salford will be able to read his comments but even so it still adds to the them-and-us culture.
I'm from Salford and even i would ******* hate to be a student there!
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Old June 6th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #616
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Oh dear Farsight, back to your old tricks of putting words in my mouth. I don’t care where you live, but after years of reading your rants it rather sticks in the throat when you hadn’t even physically seen Contact 8 years after it was built. It just put some of your “strongly held views” in perspective. I personally don’t ever comment on anything that I haven’t seen in the flesh/visited the site, I would want to be sure of my own opinion before I shared it with others.
Geddoutofit. I've gone past it plenty of times, in a car, looking towards the Maths Tower. This time there was no Maths Tower to distract my attention, I was on foot, and I had all the time in the world to stand and really take it in.

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I find it fairly impossible to see how you can cast such damning judgement on the new university buildings (humanities excepted) when most are still under construction. The really bad stuff is all several decades old, and even with £600 million, you can’t replace everything at once. I dont think it will be possible to really judge the changes to the campus until..
Until it's too late?

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I am curious as to what you think your point is when you go all Emperors new clothes on us, no one on the university board had the guts to mention that there weren’t any buildings on the plans? Or did you just miss the point of that fable and actually think it was a critique on the fashions he was sporting? No seriously, why do you think that phrase sums up the problems in modern architectural procurement, and the kind of buildings it results in?
Berlin Wall. There's a tendency in architecture to sneer at some building of yesteryear and encourage neglect thence removal to make room for something presented as the best thing since sliced bread... so providing commissions and opportunities to make a mark and £ £ £. There's all this preening and feting and juicy dick-stroking words, but it ends up looking ugly, idiosyncratic, weird, and shite. Not in every case. But sometimes.

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A large proportion of the university campuses in this country I have visited are far uglier and more often then not isolated, ghettoised and utterly depressing. Manchester/Man Met’s saving grace is their position on a major artery, with big city feel, and their proximity and integration into the city fabric. Only really Oxbridge campuses have held unadulterated wow for me, and they feel like educational theme parks at times. I believe Manchester still receives the most applications of any single university, so obviously the quality of education and student experience is winning through; but then this view has never screamed dump to me:

Get your sweet little ass down there with a camera, and turn it away from the Whitworth Building. Take in the streaks of dirt, the litter, the broken pavements, the threadbare grass, the fire escape on the Kilburn building, the mesh atop the car park opposite the Union, and beyond it the "factory" on Upper Brook Street. Just look. It's a mess. It's looking third world, which is apt since that's where a lot of those applications are coming from.

Listen, all I want is beautiful buildings. And a beautiful campus. I want buildings that make a place a place people want to be. And the environment to go with it, not greensward built on for a building that houses Ecology.

Is that too much to ask?
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Old June 6th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #617
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Until its too late? How from your perspective is there any time to change the half finished buildings?

There is a landscape masterplan that is being implemented now, they can’t magic the changes but it has started, is it too much to ask that you wait and see how it works out.

My "sweet little ass" has spent the last 8 years walking up and down there nearly everyday, I think the majority of the plans are positive. Only the loss of the park in front of Kantorovich is lamentable. I don’t just drive up and down; I very much doubt your occasional visitors’ aspirations are anywhere near as visceral.

Oh and come on, you insist that my ilk talk in emotive language, "third world"?! Ecology? What the hell has ecology got to do with a strip of park on an urban street?

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There's a tendency in architecture to sneer at some building of yesteryear and encourage neglect thence removal to make room for something presented as the best thing since sliced bread...
You cant have it both ways, this is the same “don’t ram your heritage down my throat” Farsight?

Um, my sweet little ass? I don’t think anything ever written on here has made me physically weep with laughter before; cheers for that I needed a chuckle. Actually despite being 6’3 I do have a surprisingly pert derrière.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #618
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Its all speculation, of course. It could just be down to Chinese whispers, but it all sounds pretty feasible to me. Simply from the business perspective, there's a lot of ineficient use of the campus that could be cashed in on. And they're tring to pay off some debt.
I realise you are imputing words to other people macc:

- but all the same, historic buildings are not assets that should be "cashed in", whether by a university or anyone else.

The new combined university inherited these buildings from a former institution (UMIST); just as they in their turn inherited buildings from the previous "Manchester Mechanic Institute". If the new university has a need for accommodation in this area - it should use the buildings that are there. If the new university has no need for this accommodation, they should facilitate their conversion to be used by someone else.

Of course there are some buildings on the campus that are less central to its unique qualities - perhaps the Conference Centre, Paper Science and the Vision Centre/Moffat (though the scuptured east wall must stay). The Jackson Street Mill buildings are also relatively modest externally - though the 1960s internal refitting is of considerable quality, and there is one splendidly enriched entrance feature.

The various new English universities of the 1960s were much lauded at the time - but with the exception of East Anglia - have not worn well. They now all tend to look a bit bland, twee, fiddly and underscaled. UMIST built at the same time, avoided these faults. I think I am right that Cruikshank and Seward sent Gibbon to Niemeyer in Brasilia, to work through his ideas for the UMIST campus. And I believe that the results show that he learned well.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #619
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Actually despite being 6’3 I do have a surprisingly pert derrière.
He does you know!

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. I think I am right that Cruikshank and Seward sent Gibbon to Niemeyer in Brasilia, to work through his ideas for the UMIST campus. And I believe that the results show that he learned well.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 07:11 PM   #620
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Until its too late? How from your perspective is there any time to change the half finished buildings?
I didn't say there was. You said don't judge it until it's finished. You know full well it's too late then. And doubtless you'll also find reason to say I shouldn't judge from the render, and the plans should just sail through with indecent haste. Yeah yeah. What you're saying is you don't want to hear any judgement, and no criticism either. Well tough.

Quote:
There is a landscape masterplan that is being implemented now, they can’t magic the changes but it has started, is it too much to ask that you wait and see how it works out.
Yes. Piccadilly Gardens didn't "work out". It's just been done again.

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My "sweet little ass" has spent the last 8 years walking up and down there nearly everyday, I think the majority of the plans are positive. Only the loss of the park in front of Kantorovich is lamentable. I don’t just drive up and down; I very much doubt your occasional visitors’ aspirations are anywhere near as visceral.
They are patently more visceral. I think you've grown too accustomed to the tacky dirty trashy industrial estate look. You don't notice it any more.

Quote:
Oh and come on, you insist that my ilk talk in emotive language, "third world"?! Ecology? What the hell has ecology got to do with a strip of park on an urban street?
There was a student protest two or three years back about the loss of the park in front of Kantorisch, where it was reported that the huge irony was that the building would house some form of ecology teaching. I can't find the details.

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You cant have it both ways, this is the same “don’t ram your heritage down my throat” Farsight? Um, my sweet little ass? I don’t think anything ever written on here has made me physically weep with laughter before; cheers for that I needed a chuckle. Actually despite being 6’3 I do have a surprisingly pert derrière.
Yeah well I'm 6'1 and mine's perter than yours. Get out with that camera open your eyes, look at what I'm telling you about. I'm not talking about heritage. I'm talking about re-using buildings when it's sensible and economic to do so, and keeping them clean and in good order and as beautiful as you can. But if there is a sensible and economic case for replacing a building, you replace it with something better.
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