Since our focus is Manchester, there was no way we couldn’t interview someone on the relationship between football and architecture. We spoke to Steve Millington, lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Science and the Environment, and a Manchester City fan.
Football stadiums have become iconic structures. “When you think of some of the top teams of the world like Barcelona, you think of Camp Nou; Real Madrid, Bernabéu; Manchester United, Old Trafford.” Steve says that the stadium is synonymous with the team and says a lot about the city as well. “You see this in particular in Manchester. When you speak to the average international tourist on the streets of Manchester, they are not really here for the galleries or the nightclubs, they are here because of the football clubs.” The idea behind it is also to create a destination and a place within the city, “which is not only recognizable for the locals and fans, but also on the international stage, because football is so mediated, internationalized.”
At the top City Tower, overlooking Manchester (and even some of 3D Reid’s buildings, namely 1 Angel Square), we interviewed Mike Hitchmough, Divisional Director at the practice. We talked about how similar pasta is to architecture, and what the perfect working environment looks like.
When Mike was at school he was good at both arts and science. “I didn’t know any architects back then, but I went to London quite a bit. Maybe the scale mezmerised me subconsciously. Architecture seemed to be a fantastic opportunity to use the things I was good at.”
Dave Lambert and Sarah Renshaw met during their BArch at Manchester School of Architecture. Years later and they’re now working together at GA Studio. We met them at their studio in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
For our very first RE-PORT we were lucky enough to interview David Zahle, Partner at the Danish Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Their practice is widely known for their creative and refreshing approach to the issue of sustainability. We asked him why architects need to think about sustainability, and if only rich countries can afford sustainable design.
The location for our first Mies. UK screening is Manchester’s ‘RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Hub’ on Portland Street. Ürün Kılıç, who is a practicing architect in the city, co-ordinates the Hub’s activities. We were lucky enough to talk to her about what the Hub actually is and what role it plays in Manchester’s architectural scene.
The Hub “used to be a RIBA bookshop for a long time and this space, along with Cube Gallery next door, was originally designed as one space. It had a big identity as the RIBA bookshop within the city but when many of these were closed around the country there were many discussions about what would happen to this space. No one wanted it to close, but it was not in the RIBA’s hands.” The decision was made in May 2011 that a new space would be created that would have a new concept: to support architecture in the city and reach out to the public, to students, and to professionals.
We chatted with the Head of MSA, Professor Tom Jefferies, for our second UNI interview. We asked him how he got into architecture, how he then found himself in the thicket of architectural education, what makes a good school, and where he would like to see MSA going in the not too distant future.
Tom grew up in London thinking that urban metropolises were the norm. “I thought it was bizarre not to live in a large city.” He was always interested in making, as well as art, design, culture and how urban space is used. “Being in London in the 70s there was lots of loose urban space. Architecture seemed like the logical place to go in terms of a discipline – it’s inclusive.”