BEST OF EWM 1996-2002 PHOTO GALLERY - All photos by Aidan O'Rourke

REVOLUTION BAR, DEANSGATE LOCKS is one of the new-style bars to appear in Manchester city centre in recent years. Hi-tech, with sophisticated interior design, lighting and sound-system, and with unisex toilets, it couldn't be more different to traditional style pubs. This is how it looked during the In The City convention September 2000.

EWM says: It's exciting, trendy, contemporary - It's a new use for a covered space which lay empty for 120 years. I like it. I don't take many bar interiors, but this one was irresistably lively and typical of Manchester as it is today.

COMPOSITE IMAGE OF PRINTWORKS NEON SIGNS - The Printworks is housed in the former Withy Grove newspaper offices of the Daily Mirror. For many years, the building lay empty, and then it was transformed around the millennium into an entertainment and leisure complex, with a cinema, restaurants and shops.

EWM says: The Printworks is great because it combines the best of the new with the best of the old - its recreated interior street harks back to Manchester's newspaper heritage. It features lots of neon signs, once an exciting feature of Piccadilly before they faded away in the 1970's.

GREETINGS FROM PICCADILLY GARDENS 1999 This postcard-style image shows two panoramic views of the south west and north east corners of Piccadilly. Under Manchester City Council's controversial redevelopment plan, an office building is to be built on the green space at the Portland St end (upper) and the money raised through sale of the land is to be spent on a contemporary-style makeover for the remaining section of the gardens. On the left can be seen the Indian-inspired facade of the former tea house, built 1910. In three years from now it will unexpectedly disappear, along with is wooden interior which had reportedly survived intact.

EWM says: The construction of an office block on the former Piccadilly Gardens is one of the tragedies of the current wave of redevelopment. It's no surprise that the contemporary style make-over has received a lot of negative criticism, evidence that contemporary planning still hasn't re-emerged from its post-war nadir, and is still out of touch with the people.

DUSK PANORAMA OF ST PETERS SQUARE, captured in November 1996. On the left is the circular form of the 1934 Central Library and next to it, the Town Hall extension, with its triangular roof. Buildings which once stood in the centre have gone, and the area is now the Peace Garden. Century House, built 1937 is in the far right hand corner of the square, and extending out to the right is the rectangular concrete and glass form of Elisabeth House, built 1972.

EWM says: St Peters Square - turning a blind eye to Elisabeth House - has a strong sense of classical grandeur. The library portico, the facade of Century House and the Cenotaph, all in white stone, lend an air which is both modern and ancient. The splendours of classically-inspired architecture came to an end with the outbreak of World War 2. A quick walk around the new Piccadilly completed in 2002 demonstrates that 63 years on, contemporary architecture and planning are still incapable of giving us anything as dignified and inspiring as St Peters Square.

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