Monday, 26 September 2011

The Shed

Copyright Jack Penford Baker
As the flood gates on Oxford Road are opened mass hysteria erupts across the city. The student's have returned, carted from their idealistic suburban lifestyles into a new world, a different world, their world for 3 - 7 years.

As the fresh blood of architectural students first litter their rooms with posters and flyers, and then proceed to litter the streets with themselves, so to has MMU with a collection of new builds across the All Saints Campus. The Business School is still to open it's doors, and the new Faculty of Arts building is just under a year from completion, one building has opened (although still incomplete), the "Shed".

Copyright Jack Penford Baker
Situated just behind the Mancunian way, the "Shed", an old chemical warehouse, has been transformed into the temporary home of the Manchester School of Architecture. Gone is the penthouse view from Chatham, in it's place a flexible vast single storey structure, a chance for the user to determine the place in which they work.

Although seen as a temporary relocation for a single year, the refurbishment seems more of a long term investment for the university, and why shouldn't it. Chatham doesn't offer great studio space, but it does have other benefits. Why not then utilise both spaces, offering a more attractable faculty.

The refurbishment has been designed by local architects, and fellow tutors, Re-Form architects. After their fantastic refit of the Neighbourhood's office in the Northern Quarter, their understanding of space and ability to utilise and reuse what is existing and subtly transform the space. The building still is to be complete however, and a final opinion can not be given until so, but it's current state is the right direction for the MSA to be taking.

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