AG 3 – Mancunian Way

AG 3 – Mancunian Way

AG3 is dedicated to the Mancunian Way, the elevated Highway that runs through Manchester. It is one of the city’s strangest and most compelling modernist beauties, received the 1968 Concrete Society Award and is recommended for an outing by the Manchester Modernist Society on their website: “At first sight this might seem an odd even perverse choice, a mistake perhaps. Have we gone too far with this adoration of the brutal, this ugly ode to the car, all around pollutant and bête noir of the green lobby, destroyer of much of central Manchester’s original pre-loft dwelling citizenry?” The Mancunian Way is an intrinsic and accepted part of Manchester, planned like a singularity of progress, later to be included in a never fully realized major circulation ring of highways which would have separated the city centre from the rest. This is a strange creature, its engineered details and structure show sophistication and extend their peculiar aesthetics to the large sunken traffic islands under the belly of the beast, all provided with bike and pedestrians tube-like subways. These are real concrete gardens, savage and rough in their material quality, habitats of birds, hedgehogs, and other animals, and a likely evocation of J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island. Ballard’s 1974 novel finds its location in a sunken piece of land surrounded by highways whose description distinctively matches the intersection of the London Westway (A40) and the W Cross Route (A3220) designed by Maunsell & Partners, the same engineers who built the Mancunian Way. / AG3 also includes an interview with Richard Brook, Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture, member of Manchester Modernist Society, and contributor to their magazine The Modernist.

Editors: Sandra Bartoli, Silvan Linden

Büro für Konstruktivismus 2014

10 EUR

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