A regular reader of this blog contacted me about some developments that are planned for Manchester University. I think she has contacts with the area and wanted to know how it was coming along. The university is on a £1 billion development plan for the campus that will be completed by 2020 giving it state of the art facilities and cementing its position as one of the world’s top universities. As I’d not been down there for a while I thought I’d go take a look.
The Manchester Business School is having a massive makeover. It’s being extended towards Hulme and the 1960s buildings are getting a makeover. Well, last Tuesday, they were breaking the ground for the extension and, across the street, they were just starting the building of the hotel.
This is Manchester Business School. It presents the massive, red brick wall on the Booth Street façade. I swing from loving it to loathing it.
This is what the hotel and extension will look like when it’s built.
The MBS used to be joined to a smaller building across Oxford Road by a bulky ‘bridge’ blocking the view along Oxford Road. This I was never fond of. It was dark and noisy to walk through and it ruined the view. I was delighted to see it demolished last year as the first part of the development. They have temporarily bricked up the openings created when the bridge was removed but, when the building has finished, there will be windows overlooking Oxford Road. In the meanwhile, the view down Oxford Road has been greatly improved.
Just along Booth Street is the Graphene Institute, now finished and fully operational. It’s one of the best modern buildings in the city and will be at the heart of Manchester, European City of Science 2016. They are about to start on a new Graphene inspired building near the Mancunian Way that will be the Graphene Engineering Inovation Centre. It’s been designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly, the guy who designed the Walkie Talkie in London. Let’s hope his Manchester building doesn’t melt the cars.
Across the street from the Graphene Institute, between Booth Street and Grovesnor Street, next to the Commonwealth Games Aquatics Centre, some university halls of residence are being demolished as I post to make way for the new Manchester Univeristy School of Engineering, a massive £350,000,000 project.
Attractive Oddfellows Hall is being retained and will become part of the new building.
The project has been designed by Dutch architects, Mecanoo, who designed HOME on First Street.