A glass memorial has been installed in Spinningfields in memory of influential Manchester architect Andy Robson.
The glass artwork is etched with a specially commissioned poem, called Architect, by local poet Adam O'Riordan. The memorial piece is made from recycled glass and based on architectural formats; height of a door, length of a stride, and the theme 'framing a view', a classic hallmark of Robson's conceptual approach to design.
Kim Ebling, fellow architect and former colleague of Robson's was chosen to design the memorial which was manufactured by the specialist glass company 10 Green Bottles.
The memorial was unveiled last night at Hardman Square, Spinningfields, by Vic Basil, a former colleague and mentor of Robson's, and beforehand Phil Griffin, of Spoken Image, premiered his tribute film, a mix of anecdotes, architectural imagery and music by The Durutti Column also entitled Architect. The event at Carluccio's, Spinningfields was attended by 80 family, friends and colleagues.
Ken Knott, chief executive, Ask Developments, and Trustee of the Andy Robson Charitable Trust, said: "This event celebrates the inspirational contribution that Andy made to the renaissance of Manchester. With his unique and distinctive style, Andy is widely acknowledged as one of Manchester's greatest talents. We are grateful to all those who donated funds to the Trust which has allowed the creation and installation of this stunning piece of artwork which is a fitting tribute to honour and celebrate his life and work."
Hardman Square is the temporary home of the memorial. On completion of the Irwell Footbridge scheduled for next summer, the memorial will be relocated to its permanent position thereby framing Robson' last design, the Left Bank residential block.
Robson was at the forefront of the design renaissance that symbolised modern Manchester in the last 20 years, demonstrated by his early work on Lincoln House, Deansgate in the mid 1980s. He was responsible for the design of over 2m sq feet of contemporary buildings in the city ranging from urban regeneration schemes to business parks and mixed-use developments.
After his untimely death in 2003 at the age of 44, senior representatives of the city's property and development community supported a dinner hosted by Sir Howard Bernstein at Manchester Town Hall to raise money for the Andy Robson Charitable Trust. Around £65,000 was raised and this was used to finance the memorial erected to mark the outstanding contribution he made to architecture in Manchester.
During his work for Holford Associates, which became Abbey Holford Rowe and is now Aedas Architects, Andy Robson was responsible for the design of many of the city centre landmark buildings including 201 Deansgate, One Marsden Street and the last scheme he worked on was Spinningfields.