GREATER Manchester Chamber of Commerce has awarded the 2011 Greater Manchester Building of the Year Award to MediaCityUK at Salford Quays.
Here's the press release.
'The winner was announced by Sir Howard Bernstein at the Chamber’s Property and Construction Annual Dinner held on Thursday 13 October at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester.
'MediaCityUK beat off stiff competition from Greater Manchester Police North Manchester Divisional Headquarters in Newton Heath, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (MMUBS) and Student Hub building, and the newly restored Ordsall Hall in Salford.
'Commenting on the winner, Phil Cusack, the Chamber’s Property and Construction Committee Chair and Vice President of the Chamber, said: “This development makes a statement about our city region. It is of national economic significance and it shows the world that here in Greater Manchester we are capable of delivering best in class – whether it is in development expertise, public sector vision, functional design or construction delivery.
“MediaCity will contribute to the economic well-being of Salford, Manchester and the region for generations to come. This award recognises its importance in terms of the immense contribution it is already making.”
'Phil Cusack, and Vice Chairman of the Chamber’s Property and Construction Committee, Mike Gibson, jointly hosted the black tie event, which was attended by approximately 350 representatives from Greater Manchester’s property and construction sector.
'For more information about Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, visit www.gmchamber.co.uk'
Strange one this.
Amusing that Sir Howard who gave out the gong at the awards campaigned so hard to get the BBC to move to the First Street site in the city centre. And lost.
All water under the Ship Canal bridge no doubt but - sweet little irony aside - the decision is plain odd for another reason.
This building award has been given to a collection of buildings not a building.
It's a Development of the Year award. This is playing hard and fast with definitions. Too hard and fast. Any awards ceremony that so easily breaks its own semantic logic devalues itself.
The award also ignores the fact that all the main national architectural writers have more or less panned the quality of external design of individual buildings on the development.
Not that Confidential necessarily agrees with the national commentators.
Judge the development as a whole, walk it, loop round the two footbridges that cross the Ship Canal on a weekend, and it's enjoyable occasionally spectacular. Visitors to the city love it. In this way MediaCityUK is beginning to look like a massive success - as the sum of its parts rather than through the underwhelming indivdual elements.
As for the three other shortlisted entries if they were judged on architecture alone, rather than other criteria, the GMP building at Newton Heath is a muted structure lacking drama. The MMU building is dramatic but confusing and seems ill at ease in its location.
For us this year the tasteful refurb of Ordsall Hall should have won - click here for our review of this building. It's a splendid piece of rescue architecture for a significant building that connects this part of the city region into its past. It's a bit different.