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Manchester Skyscrapers, Lack of Original Design?

546 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Isaac Newell
My first thread on the forum so go easy on me! ;)

So I've been following the progress of both the under construction and planned skyscrapers, which look okay. But thats the point really, just okay? I think we'd all agree it'd be nice to say "Wow! Thats different!"

They all seem to be very boxy with straight, and as we've seen, in "clusters" which whilst looks great on the skyline, can deprive a building of its originality.

I'm going to draw the inevitable conclusion. London. They might not be to everyones taste, but if we take the city for example, every skyscraper there has its own USP you might say. So much so they've got nicknames, Gherkin, Walkie Talkie (or should I say car melter) etc.

Beetham succeeds in that respect, it is wholly unique, its even featured on Manchester merchandise & graphics. I'm afraid Owen Street & St John's won't inspire the same level of identity.

What are your thoughts on this?

:)
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Hey Marshy welcome to the forum.

You're making an interesting point, although I heard that one of the reasons the scrapers in the City of London itself (not Docklands, where they are much more traditional and boxy) was that they had to allow unobscured views of St. Paul's cathedral. (ie that it could not be covered up by being surrounded by huge towers). From certain strategic viewpoints you're supposed to be able to still see it. Hence, apparently the slightly odd (but more interesting) shape of the square miles' scrapers.

That being said; yes indeed it would be great to see a more Gherkin or Cheesegrater shape on the drawing board for Manchester. Maybe someone on this forum (lurking?) is designing one as we type?!

:)
5
That being said; yes indeed it would be great to see a more Gherkin or Cheesegrater shape on the drawing board for Manchester. Maybe someone on this forum (lurking?) is designing one as we type?!

:)
Challenge accepted. ;)











252m-

It's supposed to reflect on the design of the corn exchange (hence triangle). Meant for commercial use. Possible roof observatory?

I'm having doubts about the width to height ratio, might make it shorter (but still as wide)?
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Interesting idea - I think top heavy designs will always look a bit awkward though, a la Fenchurch Street.
you can keep your cheese grater, gherkin and scalpel, stuff like that dates.

Even the gherkin only really looks good at the base.

London in silhouette is starting to look a little silly.
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Challenge accepted. ;)



252m-

It's supposed to reflect on the design of the corn exchange (hence triangle). Meant for commercial use. Possible roof observatory?

I'm having doubts about the width to height ratio, might make it shorter (but still as wide)?
Wow!
Just love the fact that Marshy tried something new and unusual.

Cheers to you :cheers:
My first thread on the forum so go easy on me! ;)

So I've been following the progress of both the under construction and planned skyscrapers, which look okay. But thats the point really, just okay? I think we'd all agree it'd be nice to say "Wow! Thats different!"

They all seem to be very boxy with straight, and as we've seen, in "clusters" which whilst looks great on the skyline, can deprive a building of its originality.

I'm going to draw the inevitable conclusion. London. They might not be to everyones taste, but if we take the city for example, every skyscraper there has its own USP you might say. So much so they've got nicknames, Gherkin, Walkie Talkie (or should I say car melter) etc.

Beetham succeeds in that respect, it is wholly unique, its even featured on Manchester merchandise & graphics. I'm afraid Owen Street & St John's won't inspire the same level of identity.

What are your thoughts on this?

:)
There are lots of ways to give a building individuality but it is economics keeping Manchester skyscrapers rectangular. A buildings primary purpose is to make money.

In London and other world cities land prices/ rents are so high that you can build a more expressive building in an unusual shape and still make a profit. This is not the case in Manchester where office rents and house prices are cheap compared to London.

To elaborate, a building like 鈥楾he Cheesegrater鈥 or 鈥楾he Gherkin鈥 (I hate these silly nicknames) could not be built in Manchester because the developer would never be able to charge enough to make a profit on the expensive and highly bespoke construction.

Also consider that unorthodox shapes and design features may make the space in a building harder to sell. This is especially true for speculative multi tenant office buildings which by their nature need to contain flexible interiors which will appeal to the widest variety of occupiers.

Boxy and straight buildings are economical, easy to build and easy to sell.
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There are lots of ways to give a building individuality but it is economics keeping Manchester skyscrapers rectangular. A buildings primary purpose is to make money.

In London and other world cities land prices/ rents are so high that you can build a more expressive building in an unusual shape and still make a profit. This is not the case in Manchester where office rents and house prices are cheap compared to London.

To elaborate, a building like 鈥楾he Cheesegrater鈥 or 鈥楾he Gherkin鈥 (I hate these silly nicknames) could not be built in Manchester because the developer would never be able to charge enough to make a profit on the expensive and highly bespoke construction.

Also consider that unorthodox shapes and design features may make the space in a building harder to sell. This is especially true for speculative multi tenant office buildings which by their nature need to contain flexible interiors which will appeal to the widest variety of occupiers.

Boxy and straight buildings are economical, easy to build and easy to sell.


Thought it might have something to do with that. I suppose there are positive connotations of the Manchester skyscraper style. It seems to copy the model of New York, quick, economical, maximising space. Whereas London uses a more artistic 鈥渧anity鈥 model.

By this logic, if the trend continues, I can imagine Manchester becoming the skyscraper capital of the U.K, not in height or design, but in quantity (per square mile)

With residential development, comes population increase, comes workplaces, comes jobs, comes infrastructure, comes tourists, comes more residential and so forth...

Once this cycle starts it becomes unstoppable...
It copies the Latin American style of flats rather than offices, or Canada for that matter. Mind you so does London outside the square mile.
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