VIDEO SCREENING… An important moment for Manchester’s Axis as its video screen was turned on for the first time. Reportedly a particular favourite of Sir Howard Bernstein, the screen in the middle of the 23-storey building by Jon Matthews Architects and Property Alliance Group provides a particularly striking vista when walking past the Bridgewater Hall towards Medlock Street. However, THING can’t help but think what happens to that view when the proposed Viadux gets built out? Looking at the CGIs of Ask’s planned project on the former Bauer Millett garage, part of the building juts over the Metrolink line with one elevation appearing to block most of the view of the shiny new screen. So enjoy it while you can – or maybe sign up for that office space at Viadux for the best view in the house.
— Lisa Ashurst (@LisaAshurst) December 17, 2018
MERRY CHRISTMAS… Particularly strong gift game from all you generous people this year: just look at the array of delights the Place North West office has been inundated with in the last few weeks. Capital & Centric Cheese, Urban Splash Snowballs, Christmas marmalade from Luma, cupcakes from Cowgills – we’ve had the lot, and as diabetes Christmas Day approaches, we’ll do our best to get through it all. A heartfelt thanks to everyone for the presents and a very Merry Christmas to you all from everyone at Place.
GET IT BUILT… Christmas is a time for reflection, and looking back at our final newsletter of the year from 2017 revealed a few interesting snippets, not least in our Top CGIs of 2017, lovingly prepared as always by Place editor Jessica Middleton-Pugh. Looking down the list, it’s a little concerning that only a few have started on site – MeadowSide, Capital & Centric’s Crusader Mill and the first buildings at Liverpool Waters – while others remain in limbo. Will 2019 be the year we finally see St Michael’s emerge from the ground? What about Ovatus II, Liverpool’s proposed tallest tower? There’s better signs from some of the others: the 5plus-designed Urmston Leisure Centre is starting in the New Year, along with Tonkin Liu’s Tower of Light. Let’s hope the 2018 list fares a bit better.
DONE DEAL… A major gesture by Betfred founder Fred Done this week, who was revealed as the mystery donor behind the £6m pledge to build the latest Youth Zone in Gorton. Salford-born Done has been busy building out a number of high-profile schemes in his home city including off Trinity Way and Chapel Street, but has made the gesture to back the Youth Zone, which will provide leisure facilities and education space for people between eight and 25 years old. Featuring a 3G pitch, gym, education space, a sports hall, and an arts and crafts studio, the Zone is Manchester’s second and will cost 50p per visit. Will Salboy be appointed as developer, or its construction arm Domis as main contractor? We’ll have to wait and see.
FIR FACTS… Greater Manchester sadly can’t boast the majestic redwoods of California or the quivering pine forests of Scandinavia, but actually, it does have quite a lot of trees. The City of Trees surveyors have been busy looking at how the area’s greenery measures up. If all the trees surveyed across Greater Manchester stacked up on top of each other, they’d add up to 146 Empire State Buildings, or 411 Blackpool Towers; the total area the survey covered equates to 100 football pitches; and if all trees surveyed were combined into a single mega-tree, it would be 40 miles tall and nearly a mile wide. That’s almost 11.3m trees across Greater Manchester – much better than you might expect when walking around the city centre.
MINE’S A LISTING… Europe’s last working iron mine has joined the illustrious company of listed buildings this year, and has been highlighted as one of Historic England’s “23 remarkable places” in their end-of-2018 listed buildings round-up. Florence Mine in Egremont, Cumbria, is the best-surviving mine of its type in the country, with its full suite of buildings intact along with most of its machinery and equipment. The mine closed in 2007, and although it is not open to the public, has been grade two-listed, joining others to be listed or upgraded this year including Nottingham’s Merry Men statues and the cricket pavilion at Uppingham School, Rutland.