While there’s plenty to admire in Manchester’s fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture, the city also has an impressive array of 20th century buildings scattered about – if you know where to look. Manchester Modernist Society has come to the wandering architecture fan’s aid by researching, designing and distributing Metro Modern, an ingenious map which shows Manchester’s best modernist buildings in relation to the three free Metroshuttle bus services which encircle the city centre. While some of the 20th century landmarks announce themselves, such as the towering elegance of the CIS tower and slinky Gateway House which snakes its way up to Piccadilly Station, others are easier to overlook if you don’t know the city well. Less obvious highlights flagged up by the map include St Augustine’s Church on Oxford Road – pop your head in if it’s open to admire the detailed ceramic reredos. Elsewhere artist Anthony Hollaway’s sculptural sound wall on London Road is worth a peek, and over on the border with Salford Leach Rhodes and Walker’s understated riverside HQ is surrounded by one of the city’s finest clusters of modernist cityscaping. The map is handily designed to fold up and slip in your pocket at the onset of a Mancunian downpour, and best of all, it’s free. Manchester Modern can be picked up from RibaHub (Portland Street), Fig & Sparrow (Oldham Street), TAKK (Tarriff Street), Manchester Art Gallery (Mosely Street) and Visitor Information Centre (Piccadilly Gardens). Top tip: if you pick one up from the Visitor Information centre you’ll be able to tick off one of the map’s architectural highlights at the same time, as it sits on the corner of 1960s megastructure Piccadilly Plaza. Alternatively, get the map sent straight to your doormat for the cost of postage: order from themodernist.bigcartel.com.

Natalie Bradbury
Published on:
Mon 18 Nov 2013