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Top 5 buildings
by Sarah-Clare Conlon whose blog Words & Fixtures about language, literature, arts and culture won Best New Blog in the 2009 Manchester Blog Awards.
Manchester Modernist Society highlights architectural gems at risk, including the Toast Rack in Fallowfield and parts of the UMIST campus. Tucked in next to the apex of the Mancunian Way, the trademark WA Gibbon-designed white concrete buildings and Holloway Wall offer a 60s utopia, complete with a bowling green. Address: Sackville Street, M1 3QJ
Starting life as the bastion of Manchester trade, the Royal Exchange survived a direct hit in the Blitz and protected St Ann’s Church from the IRA blast. Its glass and steel roof echoes the Barton Arcade opposite and juxtaposes well with the innovative seven-sided theatre performance space. Address: St Ann's Square, M2 7DH
The renovation of Victoria Baths in Longsight is well under way, partly thanks to the BBC’s Restoration series. On the first Sunday of each month until November, you can mooch round and appreciate the lovely tiles, stained glass windows and fascinating features such as the bathside changing cubicles and steamroom contraptions. Address: Hathersage Road, M13 0FE
The Daily Express Building
On the far edge of the Northern Quarter, the former Daily Express Building is a fabulous Art Deco curvy black and silver glass structure reflecting the version on London’s Fleet Street. The newspaper left in the 80s and it is now an apartment block, but its facade still gives contemporary architecture a run for its money. Address: 19 Great Ancoats Street, M60 4BT. [Image credit]
The neoclassical circular Central Library is a great landmark and a lovely public building, but its million books and 22 miles of shelving will shortly be packed away for a spring clean. Until it reopens in 2012, find peace and quiet next door at the gothic Town Hall where you can have afternoon tea surrounded by marble busts and mosaics. Address: St Peter's Square, M2 5PD.