March 23rd, 2009
The provincial insecurities which plague issues of urban design in Manchester surface again with these two proposals for familiar landmarks. The austere sublimity which might be thought to characterise the best of Manchester’s civic and industrial architecture had no need to soften its impact. It was robust, not to say blunt and thought the citizens could respect that self confidence, indeed have a sneeking regard for it and react accordingly.
Perhaps it’s the imminent arrival of attention-deficient media-types at MediaCity which has suggested that the deliberately unsettling air shard on Daniel Libeskind’s Imperial War Museum - North needs a shower of cherry blossom in the foreground, or the stunning and unique Library Walk between Vincent Harris’s Central Library and Town Hall Extension requires a glass canopy? We might assume that the economic downturn will dispose of these naff proposals but perhaps it is time for the Vincent Harris Vigilantes to engage in an ‘historic compromise’ with the Daniel Libeskind Vigilantes?
More on Vincent Harris’s masterpiece