Recent Buildings

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Manchester, Bridgewater Hall, Barbirolli Square

During the 1990s work in the modernist tradition includes buildings, several of them new apartment blocks, by firms such as Mills Beaumont Leavey Channon, Hodder Associates and Stephenson Architecture whose 15 Quay Street (1991-2) was influential. The firm's successor was Stephenson Bell, whose International Convention Centre on Windmill Street is crisp, expressive and carefully related to its site, where it forms part of a striking group with the arched shed of former Central Station (now the G-mex exhibition centre) and the glazed prow of the Bridgewater Hall (RHWL Partnership, 1993-6) in Barbirolli Square.

Elsewhere the uplifting Trinity Bridge by Santiago Calatrava of 1996 was actually a City of Salford initiative. Some of the best recent architecture has been commissioned by, or is associated with, the higher education sector, of which Mills Beaumont Leavey Channon's Aytoun Library on Chorlton Street for Manchester Metropolitan University, Hodder Associates' Career Services Unit (1995) deserve mention. "Since the terrorist bomb of June 1996 the town centre and area to the north around the cathedral are undergoing a transformation, with new pedestrian streets and squares, a city park, new buildings and refurbishments. Here the huge new Marks & Spencer store by Building Design Partnership (completed 2000) is linked to the Arndale Centre by Hodder Associates' spiralling glass bridge. The most ambitious of the new buildings in this area is Ian Simpson Associates' Urbis, under construction at the time of writing.

Visitors to Manchester in 2001-2 can look forward to seeing this and other projects as they approach completion, including Michael Hopkins' extension to the City Art GalleryGlossary Term, the Commonwealth Games Stadium in east Manchester (Ove Arup & Partners)and Daniel Libeskind's sculptural Imperial War Museum in the North, on the Ship Canal in Trafford, which will form a foilGlossary Term to Michael Wilford's Lowry Centre (completed 2000) on the Salford side of the Canal


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