THING OF THE WEEK
DRAWING ATTENTION PART II… Office wall doodles are obviously all the rage; last week THING featured Cert Property, and this week architects CallisonRTKL have combined the futuristic with the artistic to create this Manchester 2025 wall graphic for its new offices on Portland Street. The image was created by five of CallisonRTKL’s Manchester Life apprentices; Brendan Todd, Sam Peake Lees, Jess Sharples, Tom Hallworth and Marcus Sheen. Todd co-ordinated the team to model all current Manchester and Salford planning applications in SketchUp, and exported them back into Google Earth; illustrator Sam Charles then hand-drew over the model. Let’s see how many get ticked off as they get built.
MINE’S A PINT… It seems not a day goes by without some political turmoil grabbing the headlines, and this week certainly hasn’t been any different. With much fanfare, The Independent Group has been formed with MPs breaking away from both the Conservatives and the Labour Party, including some close to home: Stockport’s Ann Coffey and Wavertree’s Luciana Berger. What you might not have noticed, however, is that the registered office for the new enterprise is based above Altrincham’s Wetherspoons, The Unicorn, where Ashley Road meets Lloyd Street. Keep an eye out for political plotting and derring-do at Altrincham Market, Mike Gapes nipping across the road for a game of Warhammer, or Chuka Ummuna bagging himself a kebab at the Starving Man…
RESURRECTION… An architecture student at the University of Liverpool has provided a glimpse into the past of the city’s famous bombed-out church on Leece Street with a digital model and video. The church, left as a shell after being devasted by a bomb in 1941, has survived a series of demolition threats and is now one of the city’s best-known buildings, and the digital model by Master of Architecture student David Oldham showcases what the building looked like before WWII. Using original photographs and laser scans of the existing shell, “before and after” composite images of the Georgian building have been created. You can watch a fly-through video of the recreation here.
ANIMAL MAGIC… Chester Zoo’s £3m revamp of the grade-two listed Oakfield House into a gastropub has triumphed at Chester Civic Society’s annual “Good, Bad, and Ugly” awards, given to new developments, renovations and community projects in and around the city. The building in the heart of the zoo bagged a special award due to its conservation credentials, getting the unanimous backing of the award judges. Other schemes winning praise from the judges included the Memorial Garden in Ellesmere Port, restored over the last 12 months to mark the centenary of the end of WWI. Spare a thought, though, for the unsightly old Ford Building on Lower Bridge Street, Chester, which was included in the Ugly category given its state of decay. The former bus station on Princess Street also made the list, although this is earmarked for redevelopment when the first phase of the Northgate scheme comes forward.