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Report - Miscellaneous Rooftops, Manchester - March/April 2012

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by tweek, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. tweek

    tweek Huddersfield Tourist Information Board
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    Miscellaneous Rooftops, Manchester - March/April 2012

    I've taken a bit of breather over the last two months. This hobby of ours can easily get the better of you, and some time away has certainly helped put things in perspective. I have still ventured out mind, but for more humble exploits rather than chasing the epic UE-dragon like some of my local compadres.

    None of these places really deserve a report of their own, due to either being 'done-to-death' or just not that reportworthy, so I thought as a pooled collection, they might serve to at least prove that there is ALWAYS something to do in your local area... even if you're not endowed with the ability to do the highest or the best sites your town/city has to offer.

    Palace Clocktower

    Finally got chance to see this when it opened up recently. I went up here before the party season with Gone, fishbrain and a super cool Polish dude who isn't on this forum.

    The Refuge Assurance Building is a Grade II* listed red brick and terracotta building and was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and built 1891–1895. It was extended, with a striking 217ft tower by his son Paul Waterhouse in 1910–1912.

    The Refuge Assurance Company occupied the building until 1987. It was converted to a hotel in 1996.

    The chase scenes from Val Guest’s Hammer flick Hell Is a City were shot at The Palace. The rooftop action starts at about 1:23:30 and is pretty feckin cool if you ask me.

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    Contact Theatre

    Contact is a multi-disciplinary arts venue. Originally a traditional theatre Contact was rebranded in 1999 as a space specialising in producing work and providing opportunities for young people.

    Contact's distinctive building was designed by architect Alan Short as part of the venue's redesign.

    Short’s research group develops passive and hybrid low-energy design strategies for non-domestic buildings in different climates, new-build and rebuild, projecting their future performance against current climate change predictions. Significant low energy naturally ventilated passively/hybrid cooled built projects. As such, the focus is on cooling. The nine huge stacks crowned with H-shaped chimney pots assist with the building's natural ventilation.

    Went here with Hiddenshadow, Gone and NickUK, and then went back a few nights later with Sho (who had been manhandled out of here whilst trying to get to the top from the inside a while back) to get the to the top part of the roof. We actually met security here on this one - complete with securitonz radios, black uniform with padding and black boots... and a nice little purple University logo.

    One beefster spotted us walking through the site and followed us out to the car park. We sat on a bench, he turns round the corner not 10 seconds after us and asks us, “You seen two guys walk through here?â€.

    “Nah mateâ€

    His mate jogs round from the other side of the building, gives us a friendly nod. Mr. Beef only pipes up with a, “…i’m not finished here mate, gimme 2 mins and we’ll move on!â€

    What a nub. We waited 2 mins and skipped up when they’d plodded off.

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    Brittania Hotel

    Formally Watt's Warehouse, the Brittania Hotel is situated on Portland Street. Built in 1851-56 for S&J Watts by the architects Travis and Magnell, the building housed the largest wholesale drapery business in the city, and is regarded by many authorities as the queen of Manchester's warehouses. From the start it was regarded as an ambitious and showy structure, eminently suited to its owner, a self-made businessman and entrepreneur. The building is constructed using classical devices, each storey in a different style - Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan, French Renaissance and Flemish, and each corner is topped by a large tower with Gothic Rose Windows. It typifies the confidence of its owner and the civic pride which men such as he had for the city of Manchester.

    The building narrowly avoided demolition in 1972.

    Whacked a couple of pictures on the end of Hiddenshadow's report, but got some film shots back recently.

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    AMC Cinema / Great Northern Railway Goods Warehouse

    This large warehouse still boldly proclaims its lineage in large white letters under its cornice. Built in 1898, quite late in commercial terms, it was to be the forerunner of modern freight transportation systems, in that it provided an interchange between rail, canal and road networks in Manchester. We ran around like maniacs this particular night, so I only got a couple of pictures looking over the ampitheatre in Great Northern Square from the weird modern thing they slapped on to the adjoining buildings. It's a roofspace I freely confess to never having thought of before.

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    Trains arrived directly from the Central Station (now the GMEX Centre) alongside on a specially constructed iron viaduct into its huge marshalling yards, and goods were raised and lowered using hydraulic power. Ticked this off too.

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    Millenium Tower, Salford

    Okay, I think it's fair to say Manchester has now successfully devoured Salford Quays, so I forgive myself for including this one. Located at Erie Basin, Salford Quays this one is basically just a swanky block of apartments... but with not many other buildings to obscure your views, it's a nice little roofspace that looks over the Quays on one side, and back toward the City Centre the other.

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    Old Royal Eye Hospital

    The old Royal Eye Hospital on Oxford Road is currently being stripped and converted into a centre for biomedical research. The former Royal Eye Hospital is a four storey, principally Victorian building
    constructed of red brick, built during 1884 - 1886 by architects Pennington and Bridgen. Designed as a symmetrical E shaped building, the first stage of the hospital opened in 1886. Various alterations and extensions have taken place to the building over the late 19th century and during the 20th century. The building has become surplus to NHS requirements and has been vacant since 2009.

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    Precinct Shopping Centre
    Devonshire House / Crawford House

    The two university buildings either side of Oxford Road are connected by a roofspace that forms a bridge over the road. Emblazoned with the words 'University of Manchester', it is actually a bit of an icon when passing through this section of studentville. The majority of the roofspace sits above the Precinct Shopping Centre, which is nestled in between the University buildings.

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    Sachas

    Sachas is basically another Brittania Hotel, albeit a budget one.

    As a rooftop, Sachas wasn't as bad as all the rumours I had heard. It is sat frustratingly separate from Piccadilly Gardens in the Northern Quarter and so it's views are a little less than inspiring as it is (again) not very high... which is probably why it has a bit of a bad rep. But all in all, it's been easily accessible for years and the different levels to it provide a decent place to chill for a bit. Being a relative novice, I enjoyed it and will no doubt pop back if i'm at a loose end.

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    If anyone who came with me on these wants to share some please do.

    Character limit reached.

    Thanks,
    tweek
     

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