© Sheffield Society Of Architects

Manchester Building Visits

22nd June 2016

Manchester University Campus

Tour led by - Feilden Clegg Bradley (FCB) Architects

A triple tour of three Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) buildings designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley (FCB) Architects.
Starting at the MMU Business School we were introduced the sustainbility ethos of the new MMU buildings by Dr John Hindley - Assistant director, Management and Sustainability at MMU, where we learnt of their vision to create a sustainable campus. We were then led on the tour of the Business school by Simon Doody from FCB and Ian Seddon Facilities manager where we could see how the sustainability ethos has been implemented in the building. It was very interesting to find out that one aspect that changed post completion was the lighting system which was designed by one of the Universities students. Although the building comprises of a 54m wide plan, it is flooded with light via the glass finned facade, with temperature contral strategy via concrete structure and a heating/ cooling system that is as sustainable as possible.

We then moved accross to the MMU Students Union and met Matt Robinson, Chief Executive of MMU Union. The black brick building provides a sharp contract to the bright yellow tiled entrance to the union. Although the building is quite compact, it is used very well with a variety of spaces reflecting the open, playful and engaging nature of the staff and users. Through the double height entrance overlooked by a laser cut balustrade showing its pattern as we made our way to the union cafe. There we learnt of the homage the building pays to the local Victorian building through the ceramic tiles used internally. The playful nature of the spaces even spread to a cellar discovered during the excavations which was covered with glass and we were told that it has yet to be used during Halloween!

Finally we ended the tour at the MMU School of Art where we met Kath Butterworth, Facilities manager of the building. On entering the entrance space we were met with an atrium highlighting the wood clad stairs that also divides the Architecture department tower from the 'Design Shed'. We were fortunate enough to be there whilst the Degree show was on. The imprinted concrete columns in the building celebrate the use of the School while the perforated panels on the ground floor are designed based on wallpaper design by a past tutor, Lewis Day.