Miniatur Wunderland is the largest model railway in the world! But it’s more than ‘just’ a model railway. It’s a scaled-down version of the world. It is located in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, not far from the Elbphilharmonie and was founded in 2001 by twin brothers Frederik and Gerrit Braun.
Here are some statistics: there are 1040 locomotives, 280 moving cars, 390,000 lights, 263,000 miniature figures and 15,400 metres of track. The layout has an area of more than 1,499 square metres and is controlled by 50 computers.
The model world is populated by thousands of miniature figures. They are called ‘Preiserlein’ after the company that makes them, Paul M. Preiser GmbH. There are different areas: Hamburg, Scandinavia, America, Austria, Switzerland, Central Germany, Italy, Venice and the airport.
Every 15 minutes it goes dark and thousands of LEDs are switched on. The effect is beautiful. There’s no Berlin but Hamburg is proudly represented. The Elbe, the Landungsbrücken, the Hochbahn, the S-Bahn,the Hauptbahnhof, the TV tower and the Elbphilharmonie are all therre. We see the port, the ships and the Köhlbrand bridge by daylight and at night.
All models are designed to be as lifelike as possible. As in the real Sweden, the trains run on the left. In America we start in Key West and right next to it is Las Vegas. At dusk, the city looks fantastic We continue to the Grand Canyon, but there is no Chicago or New York.
The small trains come from all directions. We don’t know where they are coming from or where they are going. A few metres further and we’re in hilly Mitteldeutschland. The ICE crosses a modern railway bridge. At night, a UFO flies down from the sky. An alien hunter is waiting. Famous conspiracy theories are represented humorously. In an underground studio, for example, the moon landings are filmed.
The airport is probably the smallest commercial airport in the world. More than 40 miniature planes take off and land just like real planes. I don’t know exactly how it works. Every now and then a Star Wars spaceship or a big bee flies along the runway. The model of Venice was completed in 2018. There is also Rome, Vatican City and other regions in Italy here.
The layout is constantly being expanded. Coming soon is Provence and a working Monaco Grand Prix. Britain was due to arrive in 2020, but it seems to have gone off the radar. You can look at the workshops and take a behind-the-scenes tour.
The attraction is open 365 days a year. Millions of people have visited Miniatur Wunderland. The model world so detailed, so impressive and so realistic that you look at the real world with completely new eyes. At Miniatur Wunderland, the keyword is wonder. Here you can really learn to… bewundern – to look in wonder at our world. Soon the real world starts to look like a model, as here, the Alexanderplatz seen from the Berlin TV Tower.
Miniatur Wunderland is an expression of the European idea as not only Germany is presented, but also several European countries as well as regions on other continents.
Soon visitors will be able to walk on a new footbridge over the water into the neighbouring warehouse to see South America. The future at Miniatur Wunderland looks exciting.
More info about the video and this article
This is a new version of an older video, now in German with English subtitles.
I’m attracted to Miniatur Wunderland because I love all types of models and I love trains and all forms of transport. It fits into the AVZINE channel’s theme of cities and journeys, as a number of cities are represented in miniature size – Hamburg, Rome, Venice, Las Vegas and others, but not Berlin, New York or Chicago.
It’s also about journeys as the trains run on thousands of journeys each day. There are also ships, planes, buses, cars, vans, a UFO and a strange bee-like creature.
The music is by the amazing Bad Snacks – the Los Angeles based musician, a genius with synthesizers and the violin, which she has played since she was a child. Thanks to her as always for making her music available via the YouTube Audio Library.
There is a students’ PDF for this video with script, side by side translation and questions. It’s available to my students, or just contact me and I’ll send you a copy.
So if you watch the video above and read the article below, you will learn a lot about this amazing building.
But there are still some questions that are unanswered, which I list at the bottom of the page. If you have any answers please leave a message. In honour of Carl Bernard Bartels, I have also produced a German-language version of the video. Many thanks for watching and please subscribe to my AVZINE channel.
The Royal Liver Building is the most famous building in Liverpool and it is admired and loved by both local people and visitors. It’s located on the Pier Head, overlooking the River Mersey. Its two clock towers, and the two iconic Liver birds standing on top of them, can be seen from all over the city. It was constructed between 1908 and 1911 and is one of the so-called Three Graces. The other two are the Cunard Building, built 1914-1917, and the Port of Liverpool building, 1904-1907.
The Liver Building is one of the most familiar sights in Liverpool and you’ll find plenty of information about it in tourist guides and on websites. But certain facts about the Liver Building are shrouded in mystery, and there are some questions to which I’ve not found any clear answers. I will list them at the end.
1. The Liver Building is made out of reinforced concrete with a granite façade.
You’ll read that the Liver Building is made out of reinforced concrete. Its use of reinforced concrete for the structure of the building was ground-breaking at the time it was built. But it’s also important to know that the exterior is clad – or covered – in granite. The granite has a pale shade of brown, unlike the white Portland stone used on the Cunard and Port of Liverpool buildings. I’ve heard people say this colour is not very attractive but I don’t find that. It’s part of its unique character.
2. The Liver Building is built on one-third of a filled-in dock.
I used to wonder, why is it that on Liverpool’s Pier Head, there are three magnificent buildings, rectangular in floor plan, standing side by side? And then I discovered that all three were constructed on what used to be St George’s Dock. It was drained and the site was prepared for new buildings.
Water Street and Brunswick Street were extended across the former dock, dividing it into three. Three buildings then appeared where ships used to moor. And here’s another hidden fact: if you turned the clock back a few centuries, and looked from St Nicholas church, the Three Graces would be out in the river. The entire Pier Head and dock system is built on reclaimed land.
3. The inner courtyard walls have been covered with a modern glass façade.
In 2011, I visited the Liver Building to take photographs for the book ‘Liverpool Then and Now’, and I was shocked to discover that the interior facade has been covered in a glass skin similar to a 1960s office block. I didn’t take a photograph of it, as I didn’t want to spoil the image I had in my mind. Since its completion in 1911 the Liver Building, like most commercial buildings, has been altered and renovated, but I’m not sure when the glass wall was added. That’s another one of my questions at the end.
4. The riverside clock tower has three faces, the landside tower has only one.
I’ve been looking at the Liver Building for many years but had never quite fully noticed that the four clock faces are split between the two clock towers. On the west tower, there are three clock faces looking north, west and south, respectively.
On the east tower, there is only one clock face, looking east over the city centre. And here’s another hidden fact: all four clocks are controlled by the same mechanism. I don’t quite understand how that works, so that’s another question, which I’ve added to the list at the end.
5. The clock faces are bigger than those on the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster in London.
The clock faces of the Liver Building are bigger than the ones on the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, completed in 1859. These are 23 feet or seven metres wide but the Liver Building clock faces are 25 feet wide or 7.6 m.
One information source stated that the clock on the front of Shell Mex House, further down the Thames, is bigger. But it’s not a proper clock face, just a section of the façade onto which clock hands and hour markers have been fixed. The Liver Building clock faces are proper clock faces made of metal and opaque glass, and they are recognised as the biggest in the UK.
6. It looks similar to some early skyscrapers in the United States.
The Liver Building is said to closely resemble the Allegheny Court House in Pittsburgh, built in 1884 and Adler & Sullivan’s Schiller Theatre in Chicago, built in 1891 and demolished in 1961.
I think it looks very similar to the Wrigley Building in Chicago, but that building dates from 1924. Could the Liver Building have influenced architecture on the other side of the Atlantic, just as Birkenhead Park influenced Central Park in New York?
7. The clock faces are the largest electronically driven clocks in the UK.
The Liver Building clocks are the biggest electronically driven clocks in the UK and this is a reminder that the building brings together both traditional and modern elements. The ornamented clock tower conforms to classic architectural principles you’ll see in world architecture, including Islamic architecture, but the mechanism of the clock is pure 20th century.
8. There are no bells inside the towers of the Liver Building.
There are bell towers on town halls and cathedrals including Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and you can often hear them ringing. But inside the clock towers of the Liver Building, there are no bells. It made no sound at all until 1953 when a chiming mechanism was installed in memory of Royal Liver staff killed during two world wars.
The chimes were made using piano wires hit by hammers and the sound was amplified using a microphone, amplifier and speaker. This device gradually deteriorated and was out of operation for around four years. But in 2016, the chimes returned, thanks to the Cumbrian Clock Company, who are responsible for the maintenance of the clocks. They recorded the old chimes and saved the audio onto a hard drive. This sound is played throughout the day and the evening through a large speaker located under the cupola of the west tower.
It doesn’t sound quite like a real bell, but it’s better than no bell at all. I was intrigued to discover that when the building was under construction, there had been plans to put real bells in the tower and some space was set aside to accommodate them. But in the end, no bells were installed for fear that they would be too heavy for the new style of construction using reinforced concrete.
9. The Liver Birds were designed by a German.
This fact was remained hidden from many many years. It was only in recent years that the identity of the person who created the metal cormorant-like birds was revealed. He was Carl Bernard Bartels, a German emigré artist born in Stuttgart. He came to live in England in 1887 after falling in love with the country. A competition was held to design and build the two birds that would be placed on the roof of the Liver Building, and he won.
A few years after the Liver Building was completed, the First World War began and there was a strong anti-German feeling. Carl Bernard Bartels was interned on the Isle of Man as an enemy alien and deported in 1918. He returned to England in the mid-twenties and spent the rest of his life there. Carl Bernard Bartels created Liverpool’s most famous pair of icons, but this fact was kept hidden until the late 20th century because he was German. Inside the Liver Building, there is now a plaque in his honour.
So, those are what I believe to be the surprising facts – at least, they surprised me when I first found out about them. Let’s continue with more generally known facts.
10. The Liver Building was designed by local architect Walter Aubrey Thomas
The Royal Liver Building was designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas, a Liverpool-based architect who was born in New Brighton, Cheshire in 1864. He designed many buildings in Liverpool city centre. I was interested to discover he designed a listed building on Lord Street which has distinctive stripes and an arch.
I took a picture of the Liver Building from the corner of Water Street, zooming in on the clock tower. There’s another building to the right, a white building. That other building is the Tower Building, which pre-dates the Liver Building by several years. You can see it in old photos. It’s quite similar, with arches and those ‘curled’ motifs. In fact, the Tower Building was also designed by Walter Aubrey Thomas, something that is rarely mentioned, even though it stands directly opposite the Liver Building and could be seen as its precursor.
11. The Liver Building is a listed building, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Liver Building is a Grade 1 listed building (not Grade 1*, as one person mentioned. There is only Grade II*). A Grade 1 listed building is recognised as being of outstanding architectural merit and of national significance. That’s certainly true of the Liver Building.
It is also recognised as an important part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. That puts the area on a par with the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and Angkor Wat. But on the UNESCO list, it’s marked in red, because its quality and uniqueness are under threat due to proposed construction projects nearby.
12. The clock faces have no numerals.
This may seem of little importance at first sight, but if we look at other historic clock towers, maybe ones that are slightly older, we find that most have numerals, either Arabic or Roman style, like the town halls of Birkenhead, Bradford, Rochdale and the Tower of Westminster (‘Big Ben’). With its plain clock faces, the Liver Building clocks look towards a more modern style.
13. The Liver Building clocks are called the George Clocks.
They’re called the George clocks because they were set in motion at 1.40 pm on Thursday, 22 June 1911, when George Frederick Ernest Albert Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the Prince of Wales, officially became King George V. The clocks were made by Gent & Co of Leicester.
14. One of the clock faces was once used as a dinner table.
There is a photograph of one of the clock faces, which was turned into a huge banqueting table during the construction of the Liver Building. Sitting at the table are senior people from the Liver Assurance Group and Liverpool Corporation. The clock faces were later hauled up to the top of the building.
15. For many years it was the tallest building in Britain.
The Liver Building is said to be the UK’s first skyscraper, though at just 13 storeys, it doesn’t seem like much of a skyscraper. Already buildings in the United States were reaching much greater heights. But it remained the tallest building in Britain for many years. It’s 322 feet or 98.2 m to the top of the spires. It remains one of the tallest buildings in north-west England.
16. Each of the two Liver Birds holds something in its beak, but what is it?
The birds on the Liver Building have a wingspan of 24 feet or 7.3 metres and are 18 feet 5.5 metres high. If you look closely or zoom in with a camera, you will see that each Liver Bird is carrying something in its beak. It looks like a small twig or branch of a tree. It’s got four leaves. In most descriptions, this is identified as a piece of laver, or seaweed. The name ‘laver’ is a pun on the name ‘Liverpool’.
However, I’ve also read that it’s an olive branch. And the French language Wikipedia page states that the Liver bird holds in its beak a branch of genêt, the French word for broom, a type of bush with a yellow flower that appears in spring. Genêt is said to be a reference to the Plantagenet dynasty, who ruled England in the middle ages. Is this true? That’s another question to add to my list at the end! The Liver bird is a mythical bird, said to date back to 1207, when King John founded the borough of Liverpool by royal charter and used a bird on the seal.
17. It is named after the Royal Liver Assurance Company, but they are no longer in the building.
The building is named after the Royal Liver Assurance Company which was a friendly society. Around the turn of the 20th century they decided to construct a new building for their 6000 staff. It remained the headquarters until Royal Liver Assurance merged with the Royal London Group in 2011. The group subsequently moved out of the building. In 2019 it’s reported to accommodate around 2000 staff working in a range of companies.
Luxembourg-based investment group, Corestate Capital, bought the building for £48 million in February 2017 along with Everton F.C. majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri. So, Liverpool’s most potent and best-loved symbol is a privately-owned office building. That’s an interesting fact. There must be very few other commercial office buildings with such an exalted status. Perhaps it’s symbolic, because Liverpool is a mercantile city whose wealth is built on business and trade (including, sadly, the slave trade).
18. The Liver Building was renovated in 2019 and also in the past.
In 2019, the Liver Building was renovated to bring it up to the standards required by today’s companies. Looking on the royalliverbuilding.com website, I see many changes have been carried out. There’s a photo of empty floor space with those semi-circular windows. But the building has not been preserved in its original state. That’s the way it is with working buildings, they have to be adapted for changing times, though seen from the outside, it looks as it did when it was first built.
And now we move from facts to popular legends.
19. The birds are called Bella and Bertie and if they fly away, Liverpool will cease to exist.
I’ve read from many sources, that the birds are called Bella and Bertie, but who exactly called them that? We are told that if they break away from their shackles and fly away, that will be the end of Liverpool. This story sounds like it was inspired by the ravens of the Tower of London. It’s said that if they leave the tower, the kingdom and the Tower of London will fall.
The difference is that the ravens are real birds, whereas the Liver Birds are copper sculptures weighing several tons and they’re tied down with cables. The birds face in opposite directions. It’s said that if they were facing each other, they might mate and break their moorings, causing the downfall of the city. According to another account, Bella watches over the ships and their crews while Bertie watches over the city and its people.
A variant of this is that Bella is on the lookout for handsome sailors on the arriving ships, while Bertie is checking that the pubs are open. What must he have been thinking during the 2020 Coronavirus crisis! A typically Scouse piece of humour is that the Liver Birds flap their wings every time a virgin walks along the Pier Head.
20. The views from the top of the Liver Building are fantastic!
There is no doubt that the views from the roof of the Liver Building are fantastic. When I wrote the previous version of this article in 2015, it wasn’t possible for the general public to enter the building and go up to the tower. Now it is! Read my review below to find out what I thought of the Royal Liver 360 visitor experience and why I was a little bit disappointed.
Personal observations and reminiscences.
The Liver Building was begun in the same year my father was born, 1908. He was christened Bertie, presumably after the popular name of George, who became King in 1911.
I remember visiting the Pier Head with my mother in the 1960s and taking the ferry to Woodside. I was captivated by the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building. They had just been cleaned and looked as if they were made out of icing sugar. They seemed to ‘sing’, I can’t quite explain it. At that time, all the buildings in Manchester were still covered in black soot from the factories. I can’t remember much about the Liver Building, except that there were rows of green Liverpool Corporation buses parked in front of it.
Another memory from the sixties is the opening credits of the Liver Birds tv series, starring Nerys Hughes and Polly James. The grimy Liver Building can be seen from the ferry. There is an iconic shot looking up at the glamorous Nerys Hughes standing on the back of a bus, with the tower of the Liver Building behind.
In recent years I’ve followed all the changes on the Pier Head, I’ve taken photos and video of many festivals, including the Giants, I took ‘now’ shot of the building for the book ‘Liverpool Then and Now’ and went inside to capture the view of where the Liverpool Overhead Railway used to be. That’s when I saw the glass interior wall for the first time.
I’ve done some drawings too, which I am featuring on this page.
I love the Liver Building, its design, its location, the Liver Birds that stand on top of it, and all the associations it has with the history of Liverpool. I will go on admiring it and taking photos of it, like every local person and every visitor to the city. I hope to find out even more hidden facts about the Liver Building, which I will add to this page.
- But I have some unanswered questions, some facts about the Liver Building that remain hidden, or at least not 100% clear. Can you provide any information?
- Who exactly named the Liver Birds Bella and Bertie?
- How are the four clocks, including one in a separate tower, controlled by one mechanism?
- Exactly what type of branch are the Liver Birds holding in their beaks?
- Which clock face was the one used as a dinner table?
- Since when clock tower had an amber coloured light? I seem to remember that in the past, the light was white. Was it?
- When was the earlier renovation carried out, during which the glass interior façade was added?
- In what year were the Three Graces first cleaned? Was it in 1968?
- What is the exact weight of each Liver Bird?
And here’s one extra fact: At around 11 pm on the evening of Friday 26 June, 2020, while crowds celebrated Liverpool FC’s Premier League win, someone threw a firework at the Liver Building and it started a fire on the front of the building. Mobile phone images show a blaze in front of the semi-circular window below the west tower. The fire was put out by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Comment: Setting fire to Liverpool’s most iconic building is not the best way to celebrate Liverpool FC’s win.
In Manchester herrscht seit einigen Jahren ein regelrechter Bauboom. In vielen Teilen der Stadt entstehen neue Gebäude. Überall sieht man Kräne. An jeder Ecke hört man Presslufthämmer, Motorsägen und Bohrmaschinen.
Aus der Ferne, zum Beispiel vom Flughafen aus, etwa 13 Kilometer im Süden, sehen die neuen Türme vom Deansgate Square tatsächlich wie ein kleines Manhattan aus. Die Form der engen Wohntürme erinnert mich stark an die Twin Towers von New York. In Manchester herrscht seit einigen Jahren ein regelrechter Bauboom. In vielen Teilen der Stadt entstehen neue Gebäude. Überall sieht man Kräne. An jeder Ecke hört man Presslufthämmer, Motorsägen und Bohrmaschinen.
Aus der Ferne, zum Beispiel vom Flughafen aus, etwa 13 Kilometer im Süden, sehen die neuen Türme vom Deansgate Square tatsächlich wie ein kleines Manhattan aus. Die Form der engen Wohntürme erinnert mich stark an die Twin Towers von New York. In Manchester herrscht seit einigen Jahren ein regelrechter Bauboom. In vielen Teilen der Stadt entstehen neue Gebäude. Überall sieht man Kräne. An jeder Ecke hört man Presslufthämmer, Motorsägen und Bohrmaschinen.
Aus der Ferne, zum Beispiel vom Flughafen aus, etwa 13 Kilometer im Süden, sehen die neuen Türme vom Deansgate Square tatsächlich wie ein kleines Manhattan aus. Die Form der engen Wohntürme erinnert mich stark an die Twin Towers von New York.
Hatten die Designer diese Idee im Kopf, als sie die ersten Umrisse auf der Rückseite eines Briefumschlages machten? Das möchte ich herausfinden!
Auf brachliegendem Gelände entstehen neue Stadtviertel, Gewerbeprojekte, Bürogebäude mit Coworking-Flächen, Apartmenthäuser, Parkhäuser, Geschäfte, Cafes, Restaurants, Gärten und Infrastruktur wie Zugangsstraßen, Fußwege und Fußgängerbrücken.
Laut Office of National Statistics lag 2018 die Bautätigkeit in Manchester zehnmal so hoch wie der nationale Durchschnittswert.
In Manchester sind die Bauregeln anders als in anderen britischen Großstädten. Es gibt keine Höhenbegrenzungen. Das Planungbüro der Stadt lässt den Projektenwicklern freien Spielraum.
Vor allem wird eine Vielzahl neuer Hochhäuser die Skyline der Stadt prägen. In den sechziger Jahren bekam Manchester den CIS Tower und ein paar andere Hochhäuser. In den 80er und 90er Jahren lag die Entwicklung der Stadt im Dornröschenschlaf.
Die IRA-Bombe vom 15. Juni 1996 zerstörte ein ganzes Stadtviertel. Glücklicherweise wurden keine Menschen getötet, obwohl ungefähr 200 verletzt wurden.
In den Jahren danach wurde ein großer Teil der Innenstadt wieder aufgebaut. Leider gingen in dieser Zeit einige historische Gebäude verloren. Sie gerieten bald in Vergessenheit und die Umgestaltung der Stadt ging weiter.
Im Jahre 2006 wurde der Beetham Tower zum höchsten Gebäude der Stadt
Nun folgen mehrere Bauprojekte, die die Höhe des Beetham Towers weit übertreffen werden.
So wird Manchester zu ‘Manc-hattan’, obwohl seine neue Wolkenkratzer viel kleiner sind als die von New York! Manc-topia heißt ein BBC-Dokumentar, der einen Einblick hinter die Kulissen auf die neuen ‘Macher von Manchester’ gibt.
Die meisten Gewerbeprojekte werden am Rand der Innenstadt auf brachliegenden Flächen gebaut. Einst standen hier Fabriken und Industriegebäude, die abgerissen wurden. Diese Flächen wurden meistens als Parkplätze genutzt, bis vor einigen Jahren der Bauboom einsetzte.
Es gibt mehrere ‘Hotspots’, wo neue Bauprojekte in die Höhe wachsen.
Das spektakulärste Beispiel befindet sich etwas südlich der Stadtmitte.
Der Deansgate Square besteht aus vier Hochhäusern unterschiedlicher Höhe mit Eigentumswohnungen ab 259.000 Pfund (ca. 280.000 Euro). Im Jahre 2018 wurde der South Tower mit 201 Metern und 65 Stockwerken zum höchsten Gebäude in Manchester. Entwickelt wird das Projekt vom Unternehmen Renaker.
Auf dem ehemaligen Gelände der BBC an der Oxford Road entsteht Circle Square, ein neues Stadtviertel mit Apartmenthäusern, Wohnflächen für Studenten und Berufstätige, Arbeitsflächen und einen neuen Stadtpark.
Das neue Projekt kontrastiert mit dem alten sechsstöckigen BBC-Gebäude. Hier haben die Türme ungefähr zehn bis fünfzehn Stockwerke. Bauentwicker sind Bruntwood und Vita.
Als kritischer Architekturfan finde ich die Gebäude mit ihren dunklen Farben und massiven Formen nicht besonders attraktiv. Ich warte aber, bis sie fertig sind, bevor ich ich mir eine endgültige Meinung bilde.
Es gibt viele weitere Projekte, hier nenne ich noch ein paar Beispiele:
Das Mayfield Depot, wo aus einem ehemaligen Bahnhofsgebäude und seinem Umfeld ein neues Stadtviertel entstehen wird.
An der Ostseite der Stadtmitte werden weitere Apartmentgebäude neben dem Ashton Canal und der neuen Marina gebaut.
Leider wurde der Umbau der ehemaligen Ancoats Dispensary gestoppt. Ein Antrag an den Heritage Lottery Fund wurde abgelehnt. Im Moment steht das Renovierungsprojekt auf Eis.
Ich finde es eine Schande, dass Summen in Millionenhöhe für Bauprojekte in Ancoats ausgegeben werden, während dieses wichtige und historische Gebäude leer und baufällig dasteht.
Meiner Meinung nach sollten die Bauentwickler einen Teil ihres Gewinns nutzen, um dieses Projekt endlich umzusetzen.
Und jetzt noch ein paar neue Projekte:
Die ‘Blade’ und ‘Cylinder’ Türme in der Nähe von Deansgate South werden 855 Apartments anbieten.
Mehrere neue Projekte bieten ausschließlich Mietwohnungen, dazu Einrichtungen wie Fitnesszentrum, Restaurants und kommunale Flächen. Ein Gesuch für die Südseite des Stadtzentrums ist schon eingereicht.
Angel Gardens auf der Nordseite der Stadtmitte ist seit einiger Zeit fertig. Hier gibt es Studioapartments ab 1000 Pfund pro Monat. Dazu stehen ein Fitnesszentrum, ein Kino, Arbeitsräume, eine Bibliothek, ein Bewohnerverein und andere Einrichtungen zur Verfügung.
Bezahlbarer Wohnraum ist ein wichtiges Thema. Manchester ist eine Stadt von Kontrasten. Hier begegnet man Menschen aus allen Einkommensschichten, vom Obdachlosen bis hin zum Millionär. Leider bieten viele der neuen Projekte wenig oder überhaupt keine bezahlbare Wohnungen an.
Das größte und markanteste Projekt ist wahrscheinlich Trinity Islands. Es wurde 2017 genehmigt und wird am Südwestrand der Stadtmitte auf einem ehemaligen Parkplatz neben dem Fluss Irwell entstehen.
Das Projekt bietet fast 1400 Appartements und besteht aus fünf Türmen. Der größte, Tower X mit 67 Stockwerken wird eine Höhe von 213 Metern erreichen. So wird er zum höchsten Gebäude von Greater Manchester und das höchste in Großbritannien außerhalb von London werden.
„Ein vertikales Dorf mit Gärten und Gemeinschaftsflächen in der Höhe” – so wird das Projekt in Werbeprospekten beschrieben. Bezahlbare Wohnungen für Arbeiter in der Stadtmitte sollen auch dabei sein. Es freut mich zu hören, dass das Projekt eine öffentliche Aussichtsplattform anbieten wird.
Wie wird also das neue Manchester aussehen? Werden alle Einkommensgruppen auch Anteil daran haben? Wird das neue ‘Manc-hattan’ ein Ort sein, wo man bleiben möchte, oder werden die Leute später in die Vorstädte ziehen, um in einem Haus zu wohnen? Wie lange wird der Bauboom noch anhalten? Welchen Effekt wird die Corona-Krise auf die Stadtentwicklung von Manchester haben?
Das sind Fragen, für die ich noch keine Antwort habe, aber ich werde aus der Ferne die Entwicklung von Manc-hattan weiter beobachten.
In Manchester, for quite a few years now, a massive construction boom has been going on. From a distance, for instance from the airport some 8 miles or 13 kilometres to the south, the new towers of Deansgate Square actually look like a small Manhattan.
New buildings are appearing in many parts of the city. Everywhere you can see cranes. On every corner you can hear the sound of pneumatic hammers, power saws and drills.
The shape of the slim residential towers reminds me a lot of the Twin Towers of New York
Did the designers have this idea in mind when they first drew outlines on the back of an envelope? I would like to find out!
On brownfield sites, we can see new city districts, commercial developments, office buildings with co-working spaces, apartment buildings, multi-storey car parks, shops, cafes, restaurants, gardens and infrastructure such as access roads, footpaths and pedestrian bridges being built
According to the Office of National Statistics, construction levels in Manchester in 2018 were ten times the national average.
In Manchester, building regulations are different to other major British cities. There are no height restrictions. The city’s planning department gives the project developers free rein.
In the 1960s, Manchester got the CIS Tower and a few other high-rise buildings. In the 80s and 90s, development in the city remained dormant.
On the 15th of June 1996, an IRA bomb exploded on Corporation Street. It destroyed an entire city district. Fortunately, no people were killed, although around 200 were injured.
In the years that followed, a large part of the city centre was rebuilt. Unfortunately, some historic buildings were lost during this time. They were soon forgotten and the transformation of the city continued.
In 2006 the Beetham Tower became the tallest building in Manchester, overtaking the CIS building.
Now, several projects under construction will far exceed the height of the Beetham Tower.
And so we can see how Manchester is becoming ‘Manc-hattan’, even though its new skyscrapers are much smaller than those in New York! Manc-topia is the name of a BBC documentary which takes a look behind the scenes at the new ‘makers of Manchester’.
Most commercial projects are being built on the edge of the city centre on brownfield sites. Here once stood factories and industrial buildings that were demolished.
These areas were mostly used as car parks until a few years ago, when the building boom took hold.
There are several “hotspots” where new construction projects are reaching higher and higher into the sky.
The most spectacular example is located a little bit south of the city centre.
The Deansgate Square development consists of four towers of various heights with apartments starting at around 259,000 pounds or 280,000 euros.
In 2018 the South Tower became the tallest building in Manchester at a height of 201 metres or 660 feet, with 65 floors. The project is being developed by Renaker.
On the former site of the BBC on Oxford Road, Circle Square is being built, a new district with apartment buildings, living space for students and professionals, workspaces and a new city park.
The new project contrasts with the old six-storey BBC building. Developers are Bruntwood and Vita.
There are many other projects, here are a few more examples:
The Mayfield Depot, where a new city district will emerge from a former station building and its surroundings.
On the east side of the city centre, further apartment buildings are being built next to the Ashton Canal and the new marina
Unfortunately, the renovation of the former Ancoats Dispensary has been stopped. An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was rejected. At the moment the renovation project is being kept on ice.
I find it scandalous that while millions of pounds are being spent on new construction projects in Ancoats, this important historic building stands empty and derelict.
In my opinion, the developers should use some of their profits to help to finally bring this project to realisation.
And now a few more new projects: On Crown Street, Elizabeth Tower and Victoria Tower are under construction with 664 apartments and a swimming pool on the 44th floor.
the ‘Blade’ and Cylinder’ towers will offer 855 apartments.
Several new projects offer only rental apartments, plus facilities such as fitness centres, restaurants and communal areas.
Angel Gardens on the north side of the city centre has been completed for some time now. There are studio apartments available here from £1,000 a month. This includes access to a fitness centre, cinema, workspace, library, residents’ association and other facilities.
Affordable housing is an important issue. Manchester is a city of contrasts. Here on the street you will encounter people from all income groups from the homeless to millionaires.
Unfortunately, many of the new projects offer little or no affordable housing.
On the former site of Granada Studios, ‘The Factory’ cultural centre is under construction. The architect is Rem Koolhass from the Netherlands, and his company Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
The largest and most distinctive project is probably Trinity Islands. It was approved in 2017 and will be built on the southwest edge of the city centre on a former car park next to the River Irwell.
The project offers almost 1,400 apartments and consists of five towers. The largest, Tower X with 67 floors, will reach to a height of 213 metres or nearly 700 feet. It will be the tallest building in Greater Manchester and the tallest in Britain outside London.
‘A vertical village with gardens and communal areas in the sky’ is how the project is described in publicity materials. Affordable apartments for city centre workers are also said to be part of the scheme, and I’m glad to hear it will offer a public observation platform.
So how will the new Manchester look? Will all income groups have a share in it? Will the new ‘Manc-hattan’ be a place where people will want to stay or will they later move out into the suburbs to live in a house?
How long will the construction boom last? What effect will the corona crisis have on the development of Manchester.
These are questions to which I do not have an answer, but I will continue – from a distance – to observe the development of Manc-hattan.
Es gibt viele Verbindungen zwischen Liverpool und Wales. Es wird gesagt, dass viele Menschen in Nordwales Liverpool als ihre Hauptstadt ansehen, nicht Cardiff. Der walisische Dialekt hat den Liverpooler Dialekt beeinflusst. Die Grenze zu Wales liegt nur 20 Kilometer von Birkenhead entfernt. Man kann die Hügel in Wales von vielen Teilen der Stadt sehen, auch von Toxteth im Süden.
Der Blick von der A55 in Flintshire, Nord-Wales auf die Region Liverpool ist großartig.
Einwanderer aus Wales begannen im frühen 18. Jahrhundert nach Liverpool zu kommen.
Im Jahre 1813 lebten ungefähr 8000 Menschen walisischer Herkunft in Liverpool, etwa 10 Prozent der Einwohner.
Sie gründeten Gemeinden überall in der Stadt. Walisisch war dort die dominierende Sprache.
Wie in anderen britischen Städten gibt es Straßen, die nach Orten in Wales benannt sind, zum Beispiel Denbigh Road in Walton und Barmouth Way in Vauxhall.
Das wichtigste Symbol des walisischen Einflusses in Liverpool ist jedoch das Viertel der Welsh Streets in Toxteth, in der Nähe des Princes Park. Sie liegt ungefähr 10 Minuten mit dem Bus südlich des Stadtzentrums.
Die Straßen sind nach Ortsnamen in Wales benannt. Ich versuche sie auf walisische Art zu sagen: Die Wynnstay Street, die Voelas Street, die Rhiwlas Street, die Powis Street, die Madryn Street, die Kinmel Street, die Gwydir Street, die Pengwern Srteet, die Treborth Street, die Dovey Street, die Teilo Street und die Elwy Street.
Diese Straßen wurden im 19. Jahrhundert von walisischen Bauarbeitern gebaut. Die Häuser wurden vom walisischen Architekten Richard Owens entworfen, der auch viele Reihenhäuser in Liverpool, sowie Kirchen in Nordwales entwarf.
Im Laufe der Jahre ist das Viertel heruntergekommen. In den 2000er Jahren gab es Pläne, die Welsh Streets komplett abzureißen, auch das Haus, in dem Ringo Starr geboren wurde, Madryn Street 9.
Die Anwohner waren generell für die Sanierung und nicht für den Abriss, aber die Häuser wurden geräumt und für den Abbruch vorbereitet.
Die Beatles-Touren haben die Madryn Street weiterbesucht. Die Fans schrieben Mitteilungen an die Fassade des kleinen Hauses.
Die Organisationen SAVE Britain’s Heritage und der National Trust setzten sich für die Renovierung des Viertels ein, insbesondere wegen seiner Bedeutung in der Geschichte der Beatles.
Ein neuer Plan wurde von Placefirst ausgearbeitet. Placefirst ist ein in Manchester ansässiges Unternehmen, das Mietwohnungen entwirft, baut und renoviert. Rund drei Viertel der Häuser in den Welsh Streets wurden erhalten und renoviert. Heute sieht das alte Haus von Ringo Starr fast neu aus.
Im Oktober 2019 wurde die Umgestaltung der Welsh Streets durch Placefirst zum besten Wohnprojekt Großbritanniens im Wettbewerb der Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ernannt.
Der walisische Einfluss in Liverpool nahm im 20. Jahrhundert ab. Laut der Volkszählung von 2001 sind nur 1,17% der Bevölkerung in Wales geboren, aber es gibt noch viele andere Menschen, die walisische Vorfahren haben.
Für mich ist der Dialekt von Liverpool, der sogenannte Scouse, der deutlichste Beweis für den walisischen Einfluss in Liverpool. Seine Auf- und Ab-Intonation erinnert an den walisischen Dialekt auf Englisch oder an die walisische Sprache selbst. Beim Scouse-Dialekt können wir den Einfluss der walisischen Einwanderer aus vergangenen Jahrhunderten tatsächlich hören.
Es gibt auch einen irischen Einfluss auf den Scouse, aber das ist eine andere Geschichte.
Der Schutzpatron von Wales ist Sankt David oder Dewi Sant auf Walisisch. Der Tag des Heiligen David wird jedes Jahr am 1. März in Liverpool, in Wales und auf der ganzen Welt gefeiert.
Hello and welcome to Manchester. In this video I present my Top 50 best and worst buildings in Manchester and district.
We’ll start with the worst ones
Number 50. The Arndale Centre by Hugh Wilson and Lewis Womersley 1972-1979. – Ugly and far too big, but as a shopping centre, very successful.
Number 49. Library Walk Link Building SimpsonHaugh – 2015 – ruins the effect of the two heritage buildings and blocks the beautiful passageway between them.
Number 48. Piccadilly pavilion Tadao Ando – 2002
Simply ugly and reminded me immediately of the Berlin Wall.
In 47th place, Number One Piccadilly Gardens von Allies and Morrison – 2003 – It was built on a greenspace and blocks the view of the historic facades.
46. Northenden flats 2014
This apartment building appeared the suburb of Northenden. The design is not bad but here in a village its too big and dominating. The building is bigger than in the original plans.
and now on to the better ones
45. Piccadilly Plaza Covell Mathews and Partners – 1965
Many hate it but I find it exciting and futuristic.
44. Bernard House, Piccadilly Plaza 1965 a building with a very interesting roof. Sadly it was demolished in 2003.
43. The Beetham/Hilton Tower Ian Simpson – 2007
42. The Trafford Centre Chapman Taylor & Leach Rhodes Walker – 1998 Architects cricitise but millions of visitors seem to like it!
41. The Mathematics Tower Scherrer and Hicks 1968 A nice building but no longer compatible with a modern university and demolished 2005, and replaced by…
40. University Place John McAslan + Partners – 2008 – At the university they call it ‘the tin can’.
and now on to the good ones…
39. Wythenshawe Park Tennis & Bowls Pavilion by City Architect LC Howitt – 1960 – A tiny masterpiece of modern architecture.
38. No 1 Deansgate Ian Simpson – 2002
A nice place to live, but not so good if you value your privacy.
37. Furness House fmr Manchester Liners Leach, Rhodes and Walker – 1969
In the former Manchester docks, it reminds me of Liberty Hall in Dublin.
36. The 1962 terminal at Manchester Airport by LC Howitt and Besant Roberts As a child I found it exciting and futuristic. Here’s a photo of mine from 1973.
35. Manchester Airport ATC Tower by CPM Architects 2013
Impressive and similar to other towers all over the world.
34. Pall Mall Court Brett & Pollen -1969
A nice sixties building.
33. – 55 King Street Casson, Conder & Partners 1966, 1969
Was a bank, now it’s a boutique.
32. City of Manchester Stadium Arup – 2002
31. Owens Park Tower Building Design Partnership – 1968
A student hall of residence with fantastic views.
30. Peter House Ansell and Bailey – 1958
Its facade curves outwards and opposite…
29. No1 St Peters Square Glenn Howells Architects – 2015
An elegant modern building its facade curves inwards.
28. Granada TV building Ralph Tubbs – 1956
A monument to the golden era of British TV.
27. The Lowry Hotel Consarc Design Architects – 2001
26. Contact Theatre Alan Short and Associates – 1999
A beautiful, interesting and rather crazy building.
25. Islington Wharf Broadway Malyan – 2000
Futuristic with great views
24. Oxford Rd Station William Robert Headley and Max Clendinning – 1960
It’s made out of wood and reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House
23. The Royal Exchange Theatre Levitt Bernstein – 1976
A building within a building. It looks like a lunar module.
22. The Bridgewater Hall Renton Howard Wood Levin – 1996
The new home of the Halle Orchestra founded in 1854 by the German-British musician Sir Charles Hallé.
21. Toast Rack Hollings Campus Leonard Cecil Howitt – 1960
Was a college for catering and so form represents function.
20. Manchester Cancer Research Centre Capita Symonds – 2015
19. National Graphene Institute Jestico + Whiles 2015
It has facets, like a jewel.
18. The Quay Bar Stephenson Bell- 1998 It won prizes but as a bar it wasn’t successful and it was demolished in 2007
17. MMU Business School and Student Hub FCB Studios – 2012
A very impressive building made out of glass.
16. Stockport Pyramid 1992
Now an icon of Stockport.
15. Manchester International Office Centre former Renold Chain – Cruikshank & Seward – 1955
Near the airport, a very early example of modern office architecture.
14. New Piccadilly Station BDP – 2002
in my opinion the best modern station building in the UK. I use it every day.
13. Gateway House Richard Seifert & Partners – 1969
Here in 1998 recently renovated, and today it looks great.
12. The Lowry Michael Wilford – 2000
With its metal façade and crazy shapes and colours, it’s unmistakable.
11. Maths and Social Sciences Building Cruikshank and Seward – 1968
For me as a child, this was a symbol of modernity.
10. Renold Building W.A.Gibbon of Cruikshank and Seward – 1962
A masterpiece of modern architecture.
09. Hexagon Tower Blackley Richard Seifert – 1973
This futuristic building looks astonishingly like the modern PC Tower.
08. Daily Express Building Sir Owen Williams – 1939
Visionary and progressive, unlike the paper which moved out years ago.
07 HOME by Mecanoo – 2015 a home for cinema, theatre and art. It looks great by day and by night.
06. Siemens Building Buttress Architects – 1989p
In south Manchester, influenced by the Bauhaus.
05. Imperial War Museum Daniel Libeskind – 2002
Represents a world shattered by war.
04. Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall – 2008
Very big, very expensive but in my opinion a modern masterpiece.
03. Urbis Ian Simpson – 2001
A great building – exciting. My Manchester Megaphoto was displayed here. Since 2012 the National Football Museum.
02. One Angel Square by 3DReid – 2013
For many Manchester’s best modern building but my number one is…
01. The CIS Tower by Gordon Tait – 1962
Outside and inside superb, influenced by the Inland Steel Building, Chicago, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1956. Since 2004, a huge solar project. I’ve taught in the CIS Tower.
So what’s your favourite building (in Manchester?) Please write it in the comments below.
And please like and subscribe.
Many thanks for watching and see you again in Manchester.
This video was showcased on the I Love Manchester website – many thanks to them for featuring my work.
Ich habe im Juli 2018 dieses Video gemacht. Es präsentiert meine Auswahl der fünfzig besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester. Ich interessiere mich seit meiner Kindheit für die Architektur von Manchester. Seit ich dieses Video gemacht habe, sind viele neue Gebäude entstanden. Vielleicht schreibe ich einen neuen Beitrag zu diesem Thema. Hier das Transkript des Videos.
Hallo und Willkommen in Manchester. In diesem Video präsentiere ich meine Top Fünfzig der besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester und Umgebung.
Zuerst die schlechten…
Nummer 50, das Arndale Centre, von Hugh Wilson und Lewis Womersley 1972 bis 1979
Hässlich und viel zu groß, aber als Einkaufszentrum sehr erfolgreich.
49. Das Library Walk Link Building 2015
Zerstört das Effekt der beiden Klassik-Gebäude und blockiert die Fußgängerpassage.
48. Der Piccadilly-Gardens-Pavilion und die Piccadilly-Mauer von Tadao Ando, 2002
Einfach hässlich und erinnerte mich sofort an die Berliner Mauer.
47. Number One Piccadilly Gardens von Allies and Morrison 2003.
Es wurde auf einer Grünfläche gebaut und blockiert die Ansicht der historischen Gebäude.
46. Dieser Wohnblock entstand 2014 im Vorort Northenden
Das Design ist nicht schlecht aber hier im Dorf ist es zu groß und zu dominierend. Das Gebäude ist größer als in den ursprünglichen Plänen.
und jetzt zu den besseren…
45. Piccadilly Plaza von Covell Mathews and Partners, 1965
Viele hassen es aber für mich ist es spannend und futuristisch.
44. Bernard House, Piccadilly Plaza, 1965
Hatte ein sehr interessantes Dach. Leider wurde es 2001 abgerissen.
43. Der Beetham Hilton Tower von Ian Simpson Architects, 2007
42. Das Trafford Centre von Chapman Taylor and Leach Rhodes Walker, 1998
Architekten kritisieren es, aber Millionen Besucher finden es gut!
Nummer 41, der Maths Tower der Universität Manchester 1968
Schön aber nicht mehr mit einer modernen Universität kompatibel und 2005 abgerissen. An seiner Stelle entstand…
40. University Place von John McAslan + Partners, 2008
An der Uni heißt es ‘the tin can’ – die Blechdose.
und nun zu den guten…
39. Wythenshawe Park Tennis und Bowls Pavilion vom offiziellen Stadtarchitekten LC Howitt 1960
Ein kleines Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.
38. Number One Deansgate von Ian Simpson, 2002
Schön aber, wenn Sie Ihre Privatsphäre schätzen, nicht so gut!
37. Furness House, auch Manchester Liners building – 1969
In den ehemaligen Manchester Docks, jetzt Salford Quays – erinnert mich an die Liberty Hall in Dublin
36. Das 1962 gebaute Terminal am Manchester Flughafen, von LC Howitt und Besant Roberts
War für mich als Kind spannend und futuristisch. Hier mein Foto aus dem Jahr 1973.
35. Manchester Airport ATC Tower by CPM Architects 2013
Beeindruckend und sieht ähnlich aus wie andere Tower überall in der Welt.
34. Pall Mall Court von Brett und Pollen 1969
Ein schönes Gebäude der sechziger Jahre.
33. 55 King Street von Casson, Conder & Partners. 1969
War eine Bank und ist jetzt eine Boutique.
32. Das City of Manchester Stadion von Arup, 2002
31. Owens Park Tower von Building Design Partership, BDP, 1968
Ein Studentenwohnheim mit schönen Aussichten.
30. Peter House von Ansell and Bailey – 1958
So alt wie ich und mit einer nach außen gewölbten Fassade. Gegenüber steht…
29. Number One St Peters Square von Glenn Howells Architects, 2015
Ein elegantes Gebäude mit einer nach innen gebogenen Fassade.
28. Das Granada TV Building von Ralph Tubbs, 1956,
Erinnert an die goldene Ära des britischen Fernsehens.
27. Das Lowry Hotel von Consarc Design Architects, 2001.
26. das Contact-Theatre von Alan Short and Associates, 1999
Ein schönes, interessantes und auch verrücktes Gebäude
25. Islington Wharf von Broadway Malyan, 2000
Futuristisch mit schönen Aussichten.
24. Oxford Road Station von William Robert Headly and Max Clendinning, 1960.
Der Bahnhof ist aus Holz gebaut und erinnert an das Sydney-Opernhaus.
23. The Royal Exchange Theatre by Levitt Bernstein, 1976
Ein Gebäude in einem Gebäude. Sieht aus wie das Lunar Module.
22. Die Bridgewater Hall von Renton Howard Wood Levin, 1996.
Das neue Zuhause des Halle Orchesters, das vom deutsch-britischen Musiker Sir Charles Hallé 1854 gegründet wurde.
21. The Toast Rack – Hollings Campus von Leonard Cecil Howitt, 1960
War eine Cateringschule. Die Form repräsentiert die Funktion.
20. Manchester Cancer Research Centre von Capital Symonds – 2015
19. Das Nationale Graphene-Institut von Jestico + Whiles – 2015
Hat Facetten wie ein Juwel.
18. The Quay Bar von Stephenson Bell, 1998
hat Preise gewonnen, war aber als Bar nicht erfolgreich und wurde 2007 abgerissen.
17. MMU Business School & Student Hub von FCB Studios 2012
Ein sehr schönes Gebäude aus Glas.
16. Das Stockport Pyramid 1992, ein Wahrzeichen von Stockport.
15. Manchester International Office Centre former Renold Chain – Cruikshank & Seward, 1955
In der Nähe vom Flughafen, ein sehr frühes Beispiel der modernen Büroarchitektur. Ich unterrichte in diesem Gebäude.
14. Der neue Bahnhof Piccadilly von BDP 2002
Meiner Meinung nach, der schönste moderne Bahnhof von Großbritannien. Ich nutze diesen Bahnhof täglich.
13. Gateway House von Richard Seifert and Partners, 1969 wurde in den letzten Jahren renoviert und sieht jetzt sehr schön aus.
12. The Lowry von Michael Wilford, 2000
Mit seiner Fassade aus Metall und seinen verrückten Formen unverkennbar.
11. The Maths and Social Science Building von Cruikshank and Seward 1968
Für mich als Kind, ein Symbol der Moderne.
10. The Renold Building von W.A. Gibbon des Architektenbüros Cruikshank and Seward, 1962
Ein Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.
09. Der Hexagon Tower von Richard Seifert, 1973
Dieses futuristische Gebäude sieht wie der moderne PC-Tower aus.
08. Das Daily-Express-Building von Sir Owen Williams 1939
Visionär und zukunftsorientiert – im Gegensatz zur Zeitung, die vor vielen Jahren ausgezogen ist. Das Design beeinflusste Sir Norman Foster.
07. HOME von Mecanoo. 2015
Dieses Zuhause für Kino, Theater und Kunst sieht bei Tag und Nacht toll aus.
06. Das Siemens-Gebäude von Buttress Architects ,1989
In Süd-Manchester, vom Bauhaus-Stil beeinflusst.
05. Das Imperial War Museum North von Daniel Libeskind , 2002
Repräsentiert eine vom Krieg erschütterte Welt.
04. The Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall, 2008
Sehr groß, sehr teuer, aber meiner Meinung nach ein Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.
03. Urbis von Ian Simpson, 2001
Ein tolles, spannendes Gebäude. Mein Manchester-Megaphoto wurde hier ausgestellt. Seit 2012 ist es das Nationale Fußballmuseum
02. One Angel Square von 3DReid, 2013
Für viele Leute das beste moderne Gebäude von Manchester, aber meine Nummer Eins… ist…
01. The CIS Tower von Gordon Tait, 1962 beeinflusst vom Inland Steel Gebäude, Chicago von Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1956. Seit 2004 ein riesiges Solar-Projekt. Ich habe im CIS-Tower unterrichtet.
Und was ist dein Lieblingsgebäude? Bitte schreib es in die Kommentare unten.
Bitte liken und abonnieren, danke.
Vielen Dank fürs Zuschauen und auf Wiedersehen in Manchester.
Bitte liken und abonnieren.
At MediaCityUK, you’ll find the studios of the BBC and ITV. The production centre for Coronation Street is located across the Manchester ship canal on the Trafford side, next to the Imperial War Museum with its crazy metallic fragmented shell.
The Lowry is a centre for art and performance and is also housed within in a shiny metallic structure full of strident angles, shapes and colours. The Lowry Outlet is a stylish shopping mall where you can buy discounted clothes and many other items. There’s a food court and a cinema there too.
Countless offices and apartments have been built all across Salford Quays. There are four impressive bridges two old and two new. Manchester United’s Old Trafford ground is very close. Manchester city centre is a 20 minute tram ride away.
I remember visiting the Manchester Docks as a child. It was exciting to see ocean-going ships floating on the water so close to the heart of the city. I once went with my mother to visit a Royal Navy submarine named Grampus. It was docked close to where the Millennium lift bridge is now.
A few years later, containerisation and the growth in the size of ships made the Docks redundant. By the early 80s, the area was mostly derelict and unused. But people at Salford City Council devised a plan. It has taken many years to bring that plan to reality and the development is still ongoing but I’m sure if the dockers and crews of the past could look into the future and see what’s there today, they would be astonished.
Just a quick note about place names, which can be confusing in this part of the world. Unlike other major cities, whose boroughs form one unit – I’m thinking of London, Berlin, New York and many others – the Manchester conurbation is divided up among a number of local authorities. Salford is a separate city and sees itself as having a strong identity that’s separate to Manchester.
The Manchester Docks were not located inside the City of Manchester – apart from a small section – but inside the City of Salford. The name of the conurbation is known as Manchester, or Greater Manchester and they were referred to as the Manchester Docks. Visitors often find the geography of the local area quite difficult to understand!
And the confusion continues: The area we think of as Salford Quays is actually split between Salford on the north side of the water and Trafford on the south side. For this reason the name ‘The Quays’ has been introduced as a unifying identity. The trouble with this name is that it has no place identifier. If you type ‘The Quays’ into a search engine, you may well stumble on other locations, for instance a shopping centre of that name in Newry, Northern Ireland.
There are other controversies. Not everyone is keen on the strident and outlandish designs of the Lowry and the Imperial War Museum. Others say the architecture of MediaCityUK is too bland and not adventurous enough.
There is a sentiment within Salford that Salford Quays has received the lion’s share of local funding, to the detriment of poorer areas. I’m not going to go into that controversy here, I will just approach Salford Quays from the point of view of a visual artist, with an eye on its history. And in Salford Quays I can find plenty of visually arresting scenes that demand to be captured. I’ve done this mostly through the medium of photography but I’ve also completed one drawing so far and hope to do more.
A major reason to visit Salford Quays is to see the paintings of LS Lowry, which are on display in the Lowry. His work should be an inspiration to everyone.
My Salford Quays e-book brings together around 30 of my best photos of Salford Quays mostly taken from around 2000 onwards. The cover photo shows the Lowry in early 2002, around the time it was completed, with no buildings around it . At that time it was possible to see the complete outline of the structure. Since then, more buildings have appeared all around, and new ones are under construction today.
I only have a couple of images from the eighties, both taken on Trafford Road Bridge, one of the bridge itself and one of the view along the canal before any of the development started.
I was at the opening of the Lowry in 2002 and managed to capture the view of the shiny new building from the top of the car park. Now there is an office development on the site next to the car park. It’s nice when there is open space to photograph buildings, but you have to act quickly. Things change quickly in this part of the world.
I love seeing the Mersey Ferry arriving in Salford Quays after its journey from Liverpool. I’ve done the six hour Manchester Ship Canal Cruise from Salford to Liverpool twice and I have to say it’s stunning.
I really wish there were more ships on the water in Salford Quays. It’s much quieter than the Thames. HMS Bronington was previously moored on Trafford Wharf, as well as the theatre ship Fitzcarraldo but they have both since moved on.
The WAXI water taxi is the only regular passenger service operating on the canal. I went on a tour to the city centre and back and it was a great experience to see the Quays, bridges and the area along the water from new angles.
On most stretches of lakes and waterways around Manchester and Salford, waterfowl are in residence and they often add an attractive element to photographs. Humans can also be seen on the water. Rowers from the watersports centre often do their training there and occasionally there are swimming events.
MediaCityUK appeared later years on the northern side of Salford Quays, when the studios of both the BBC and ITV migrated here from the city centre. The view of MediaCityUK from the Lowry is great, especially on a sunny day when the water is still. It can appear as smooth as a piece of glass.
I love to take the tram from the city centre. There are amazing panoramic views all the way from Deansgate-Castlefield to MediaCityUK.
I’ve selected a small number of my best photos for this e-book, which I’m giving away in order to showcase my photos and provide some information about this very interesting and photogenic area.
Feel free to pass on the link to anyone else who might be interested. If you like the photos, please post a comment on social media or e-mail me directly.
I’ve been running the Victoria Baths Photography Workshop for a few years now and have welcomed a large number of people, ranging from complete beginners in photography to highly experienced professional photographers. The age range is very wide as well, from teenagers to octogenarians.
Every time I run the workshop, I see something in the Baths that I’ve not seen before – not with my own eyes but through the camera viewfinders of the people on the workshop.
The aim of the workshop is to give people the opportunity to photograph this amazing building. I’m on hand to chat to people, giving tips where needed and also asking questions. There’s no formal instruction due to the widely differing levels of the participants.
I normally chat individually to each person on the workshop for ten minutes or so. There are normally between 7 and 10 people attending.
I always look through the photos on each person’s camera screen to gain an idea of what they have been photographing. I give positive feedback and suggestions for improvement. I also look at photos and say things like: ‘Wow, I wish I’d taken that!’ and ‘You’re very talented, aren’t you?’ or perhaps ‘That’s incredible, look at this everybody!’
I’ll also give them a task to complete, for instance making use of exposure compensation and asking them to do a series of bracketed shots to show me later.
The workshop that took place on Sunday 9 June followed the usual format: Start at 10am in the Turkish Baths rest area, by the magnificent stained glass window. Participants then go and explore the building. I chat to each one individually. We then meet at 12pm to go up the ‘secret’ staircase to the abandoned rooms at the top of the building. After 30-40 minutes we return to the ground floor and go to the canteen to chat.
This time I found some of the photos taken by the participants to be so impressive, I decided to do a write-up and showcase their photographs.
So here is a selection of images, sent in by people. I asked them to pick out three of their best images, particularly the ones I had praised on the day. I chose two images for each photographer who got back to me, and what follows is my critique of the photos.
This photo by Emily Pickering of a light switch and torn wallpaper really captures the atmosphere of the abandoned rooms on the top floor, which we always visit on the Victoria Baths Photography Workshop. She has caught the textures and details very well. She has placed the switch in the lower right of the frame, leaving room to display the wallpaper layers, patterns and colours at the top of the image.
Emily Pickering has captured the stained glass windows superbly in this image. Very often, with stained glass, you have to underexpose the image in order to make sure the colours look saturated. The camera’s exposure meter will often photograph coloured stained glass wrongly. Often it makes the glass too light. By making use of the Exposure Compensation setting on the camera, Emily has achieved the ideal exposure – not too dark and not too light. The viewpoint, from slightly to one side, gives a hint of spontaneity.
Maggie Malyszko took this excellent shot of the ‘sunrise’ window on the stairs. She has adopted a different viewpoint from most. She is looking from behind the staircase through the gap, giving a sense of an observer. This viewpoint creates an unusual pattern and composition in the image. The strong verticals and dark tones give a sense of mystery and atmosphere.
Maggie Malyszko’s photo of the door and corridor is another superbly composed image. She has placed the part-open door in just the right position so that we can see through it, and so that the door at the far end of the corridor falls inside the middle pane of glass. Having a foreground element like this placed at the front gives a sense of depth. The textures of the wood, the shiny tiles and the marks on the out of focus windows give extra visual interest. She has placed the light on the wall in the upper left exactly inside the curve in the door. Great composition!
Richard Waldock created this very enigmatic image in the abandoned rooms at the top of the building. Eventually these rooms will be converted into apartments though at the time of writing – June 2019 – this is still a long way off. In the meantime the peeling ceilings and torn wallpaper will continue to fascinate visiting photographers on the Victoria Baths Photography Workshop. What’s disturbing about the image is that it looks almost as if there is a human form under the dark blanket. Lighting and composition are very good.
Chris Currie has adopted an unusual viewpoint for this shot of the bath in the abandoned rooms. He has reduced the composition down to two areas of grey wall at the top and the white of the bath in the lower part, with taps, holes and stained sides. The wide angle lens has magnified the edges of the bath. It’s as if we are sitting in it ourselves, (though thankfully no legs are visible, unlike in those ‘me on the beach’ photos!). Of all the photos taken of that bath I’ve never seen one quite like this! All credit is due to the photographer!
This image by Chris Currie shows that simply by adopting a different viewpoint, you can create an image that’s unique and with a lot of visual impact. He has re-interpreted the angel in the stained glass windows by moving to a low position and looking upwards. The shallow depth of field has made the stained glass out of focus in the upper and lower parts of the image. This works well as it adds a sense of depth, and the out of focus effect is visually pleasing.
Richard Waldock took this photograph on the stairs near the main entrance. In any other building, the question in the viewer’s mind might be: ‘What made him take that photo?’ but in the Victoria Baths, every inch of the building is photogenic. The hand rail takes a zig zag path from top left to bottom right, and the reflections in the shiny green tiles are pleasing to the eye.
Laura Gritti took this photo in the abandoned rooms on the top floor. In this part of the building, objects lie on the floor for no apparent reason and can be used as subject matter for photography. Here a section of pipe and a meter provide an interesting focus, lit up by the direct sunlight through the windows, which cast a pattern on the floor. It’s a well composed image and quite enigmatic.
Laura Gritti took this shot of the Gala pool, looking across towards the changing cubicles and the balcony above. She has placed the ‘water 4 and a half feet deep’ sign on the left and just passing underneath, a man walking towards the right. She has used a slow shutter speed – I would estimate about one quarter of a second. The image is well composed with almost perfect horizontals. The picture is mostly static, but the moving figure provides a dynamic element. She pressed the shutter at just the right moment, when the guy was just in front of one of the red and white striped curtains. A great example of ‘le moment juste’ – the right moment – to press the shutter.
All in all I was very impressed with the photographs taken by this group. Every photographer who enters the Victoria Baths comes away with something unique, something memorable. This is a building that likes having its photo taken!
If you’d like to come on the Victoria Baths Photography Workshop, just get in contact with me directly and I will reserve a place for you.