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5 Famous Buildings in Manchester

5 Famous Buildings in Manchester

16 July 2021 Simon Banks Read time: 2 min
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Simon Banks

Manchester has an ever-changing skyline, and it continues to add stylish modern buildings. Some of those already in place are pretty iconic – in fact, Manchester has its fair share of famous landmarks, and we're covering the best of them with this guide. So read on and discover the best of the city's architecture. 

Beetham Tower

Easily the most recognisable building in Manchester, the Beetham Tower has become synonymous with Manchester's growing skyline. It will be one of the first buildings to catch your eye as you enter the city centre with its 47-storey skyscraper dominating the city. 

Until 2018, it was the tallest building in Manchester. Now, that feat goes to The South Tower on Owen Street, but Beetham Tower still stands tall at 554 feet and is easily recognisable from many points in the city. 

Beetham Tower is also well-known for its design with a unique elongated floor plan that uses a height to width ratio of 10:1. This means it's one of the thinnest skyscrapers in the world. Currently, it's home to five-star apartments and Hilton Deansgate, one of Manchester's most popular hotels.

Imperial War Museum North

Perhaps the most impressive non-residential building in the city, Imperial War Museum North was built in 2002 and is an eye-catching structure. It was designed by acclaimed architect Daniel Libeskind, who was also the brainchild of Berlin's Jewish Museum and the Ground Zero site in New York. 

The museum's structure represents a shattered globe, with Libeskind conjuring up the idea of designing the building as a symbol of the effects of war – in particular, the curved silver shapes represent a shattered globe that has been reconstructed but will never be the same again.  

Once inside the museum, the sleek design continues with curves of the shattered globe featuring throughout the building. The route is also purposely confusing, giving visitors a feeling of disorientation that replicates the effects of war. 

John Rylands Library

Not all of Manchester's iconic buildings are newly constructed over the last 20 years-or-so. John Rylands Library is a Grade I listed building nearby the Beetham Tower that has been a staple of the city since 1900. 

That's when it was first opened to the public, who got to marvel at its Victorian neo-Gothic design resembling a church. Inside, the building's interior continues the Gothic theme with a striking look that's made it such an important Manchester landmark. 

The Reading Room is particularly impressive with its wooden bookcases and large stained glass windows. Today, John Rylands Library is part of The University of Manchester Library but is still open to all the public. 

Manchester Town Hall

Much like Beetham Tower, Manchester Town Hall is instantly recognisable to everyone who lays eyes on the building. First constructed in 1877, the Victorian neo-Gothic building underwent repair in 2014 to bring it up to standard and restore many of its features. 

Initially designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse and author Elizabeth Gaskell, Manchester Town Hall has a fireproof structure that uses concrete and wrought-iron beams throughout. 

It's the clock tower that is perhaps the most impressive part. It features a Great Abel Clock and stands at 280 feet. These features all contribute to the building's Grade I status, of which just 2.5% of the buildings in the UK are classified. 

Ubris

Another beauty completed in 2002, Ubris is a six-floor tall structure with a design that exudes style and sophistication. Almost 20 years from its construction, Ubris still looks ahead of its time with a fully glazed structure featuring a unique sloping design with 2,200 glass panes used on the facades. 

Between 2002 and 2012, it was used as a museum symbolising the modern city as a place of regeneration in the wake of the 1996 IRA Manchester bombing. However, since then it has become known as the home of the National Football Museum.

Stylish Manchester buildings

Manchester is graced with stylish buildings, whether they're new or old. Some are used for snazzy apartments with fantastic views over the skyline, while others house tourist and cultural attractions. No matter what they're used for, each one represents the best of the city and shows why Manchester is such a sought-after place in the UK.

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