Manchester Now

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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.

1.

UMIST

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

2.

The Royal Exchange

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

3.

Victoria Baths

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 each year, you can mooch round and appreciate the lovely tiles, stained glass windows and fascinating features such as the bath-side changing cubicles and steam-room contraptions. Address: Hathersage Road, M13 0FE

4.

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]

5.

Central Library

The much loved Manchester Central Library reopened in March 2014 following an extensive refurbishment and extension. Visitors are invited to pop in to relax and unwind in the city's 'living room' or be inspired in new spaces such the Henry Watson Music Library and the BFI Mediatheque.