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Nasty piece of work
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Found this in the MEN from yesterday. I'm hoping it's not already been posted, I'm afraid I haven't had time to check.

Town hall TV
Ian Wylie

MANCHESTER town hall stars in a major Brits and mortar TV documentary tomorrow night.

Historian Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, singles it out as one of Britain's most important buildings.

"It's a work of art that's stood the test of time," he said. "This is one of the greatest products of the Victorian age. Manchester town hall is a masterpiece."

The presenter of Channel 4's two-hour Building Britain special said: "I must have been in Manchester town hall a dozen times in my life and every time I get a tingle of excitement up my spine. It's an extraordinary building.

"You can be in no doubt that the people who built it were determined that it was going to become an icon.

"The merchants of Manchester wanted a building that captured the aspirations and vitality of its ambitious middle class. They expected to define the city's achievements as a powerful modern metropolis and trumpet its aspirations to high culture."

Barons

Architecture writer John Archer tells the programme: "They wanted it to be outstanding and were prepared to expend any sum to produce a building that would be equivalent, if not superior, to any similar type of building in the country."

Dr Thurley explains how Manchester's industrial revolution textile barons looked to Venice.

"They wanted Manchester to be seen as more than just muck and brass," he said. "They set their sights on a model for a future city - and they chose Venice.

"Like Manchester, Venice had made its fortune by trade and the industrialists saw no reason why the comparison with the great city should stop there. They modelled themselves on Renaissance merchants and prided themselves in being the Medicis of Manchester."

Manchester announced it was to choose the architect by a competition and no expense would be spared. The winner was unknown Alfred Waterhouse - who went on to design the Natural History Museum in London - with a neo-Gothic style building which was "a unique expression of Britishness".

Dr Thurley added: "Despite its appearance, the town hall was anything but old-fashioned. Inside, it was a celebration of new technology, built out of an iron frame with fire-resistant concrete ceilings and an early central heating system hidden in the stairs."

Building Britain is screened on Channel 4 tomorrow at 7pm.
 

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Like 'Berg'
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That time can't be right, thats Channel 4 News time... I just checked the radio times website, I cant anything like this program mentioned for tonight :(

--EDIT--

I've checked again and its on on Saturday evening...so thats that sorted, :cheers:
 

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yes it was quite intesting,, missed the first half though..
I think they'll be plenty more programmes made about architecture in Britain, in the next couple of years,, when all these currunt developments are finished ,more people will take notice, and get more interested ,,,,
 

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Watched it. It was very interesting, makes you forget or take for granted what old and beautiful buildings we have here in Manchester.
 

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Salford Red
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That "Villa" built by the Norfolk farmer was a bit tastey wasn't it? Didn't even know that it existed!
 

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It was a very interesting programme. In case people don't know, you are free to wander around the town hall at leisure. It's very cool as it is usually empty. They give you a security pass downstairs and you can go where you like. The Ford-Maddox Brown pictures in the Great Hall are really interesting. If you are going in especially to go to the Town Hall it's best to call ahead as they sometimes have weddings on and don't let you in.

I thought the way the programme skipped from 1877 to 2004 and entirely dismissed the most important movements in the history of architecture was funny.
 

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Question is, will anything of this maginitude ever be built again in Manchester?
Will the CJC, for example, become a comparable landmark within time? Not sure it will personally.

Ovenchips - I didn't realise we were allowed access to the best part of all of the Town Hall (though it is a public building afterall). I'll be ringing for a 'booking' as soon as.
 

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my dad is a designer for M4 design (manchester councils design company) and so i used to go as a kid alot. If you ever go and you need the toilet go to the third floor mens, you get there via a balcony over the courtyard, very interesting indeed, and surprisingly high up to.
 

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Northy what I always wondered is will the UK ever repeat this historical mimacry again to such an extent?? Tower Bridge, HoP, Manc Town Hall have all become loved for looking like they're much older than they are.. I wonder if we'll ever be able to build something these days or in the future that can join them.. Or if even simple lowrise projects start to mimic the historical decor again etc..
 

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sorry caw, don't think you can, although it's the sort of place that if you ask they might take you as they don't get that many people going around. I know that at art galleries and libraries that if you ask for stuff that isn't on display they often take you back into restricted areas and show you.

The town hall is quite strange upstairs inside because it has all those things that you'd expect from a modern institutional building - cheap stackable chairs, fire safety procedure posters, disabled door handles and rails, middle managers - juxtaposed with sublime floors, walls and ceilings.
 

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i once saw a '10 uses for as condom' poster in the town hall.
 

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Thanks for the notice Priscilla QOTD.

We need more architectural TV programmes but . . .

Watched with interest but sorry to say thought he was a compleat **** and straight out of John Major's warm beer and cricket view of Britain.

He assumes English = British. The Scots had an 'auld alliance' with the French and even today Scots Law has everything in common with the Napoleonic Code and nothing with English Common Law. He is under the impression that Richard Arkwright woke up one morning and decided to invent the 'Industrial Revolution'. He seemed unaware that Bolton & Leeds TH + most Liverpool and Scottish public buildings are classical, not neo-Gothic. As FrozenMusic said he jumped in one sentence from Manchester TH to WWI. He dismissed Modernism and Corbusier as an unwelcome continental import. What about its predecessors such as Ellis's Oriel Buildings in Liverpool or Mackintosh in Glasgow? He just made my blood boil.
 

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Mmm, Danone
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I've just watched it after downloading it. Some of it was great, I enjoyed the bits about the Dover cliffs. Althugh I would've prefered the ponce to have gone into each building with far more time and detail. Maybe a 1 hour program on each one instead of cramming them all into 1 two hour program.

Anyway, the bit I found most funny was the notion of the Town Hall lot painting scenes that had nothing to do with Manc but were added in the interest of pomp and **** size, to try and fool everybody into thinking Manchester is more important than in really is.

Skip forward 130 years (give or take) and well, not much has changed really has it.
 
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