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Manchester Modernist Society explore four decades of Manchester’s changing landscape in new publication 

Friday 21 April will see the Manchester Modernist Society launch ‘Decades’, an original publication tracking Manchester’s journey from Victorian industrial sprawl, emerging from the destruction of WWII, into the modern European city that stands today. 

Spanning the years 1945 to 1984, Manchester Modernist Society explore the transformation of Manchester through landmark buildings that that have dominated the city’s landscape. 

Manchester Modernist Society track the changing face of Manchester, from the renovation of the bomb-ravaged Free Trade Hall and the birth of Granada TV in the fifties; the optimistic vision of the Mancunian Way and UMIST in the sixties

The tile clad concrete of the Arndale Centre and the high tech tubes of the Royal Exchange Theatre in the seventies; through to the opening of Factory Record’s iconic Hacienda nightclub in the eighties.

In a nod to iconic Manchester band Joy Division, ‘Decades’ tells the story of Manchester’s architectural evolution, using track names from the bands seminal albums, ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’. Like a soundtrack accompanying the publication, track names including ‘Isolation’, ‘An ideal for living’ and ‘She’s lost control’ act as headings that capture poignant moments in the city’s redevelopment. 

Jack Hale of Manchester Modernist Society said: “The decades following WWII were a period of transformation for Manchester; culturally, politically, socially, economically. These changes are reflected in the architecture of the city, which has in turn impacted the lives of ordinary people in Manchester. 

“‘Decades’ captures the uniquely Mancunian story behind the buildings we see on a daily basis. Those buildings act as a reminder of the optimistic vision of the past and the human endeavour behind Manchester’s ambitious regeneration.”

The publication will be launched by gathering on the footbridge over Princess Road between Upper Medlock Street and Birley Fields at 18.00 on Friday 21 April, a place familiar to any Joy Division aficionado, followed by presentations from contributors James Thorpe, Eddy Rhead and designer Jonathan Hitchen at the nearby Homes for Change building on Old Birley Street.

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