Tadao Ando’s only UK building to be demolished

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Japanese architect Tadao Ando’s concrete pavilion at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester is set to be demolished and replaced to improve quality and safety of the space.

Manchester City Council has released a report that outlines its plans to “refresh” Picadilly Gardens which is set to go before an executive committee this week.

The 130-metre-long curved concrete wall blocks the green space from a transport interchange while the other side houses a coffee shop.

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The area has seen an increase in crime and other similar activities in recent years, although first constructed in 2002 as part of a regeneration of the city following the IRA bomb in 1996.

“The City Council and Greater Manchester Police have, over the past few years, been working together to tackle concerns regarding Piccadilly Gardens, particularly relating to anti-social behaviour, crime and the maintenance and care of the public realm,” the city council report said.

“In recent years, a number of residents, visitors and stakeholders have also raised concerns about the look and condition of Piccadilly Gardens, in relation to the pavilion building (including the current wall sculpture), and the landscaped areas,” the report added.

Public campaigns have emerged against the Japanese architect’s design, including a petition signed by over 20,000 residents of the city that demanded “either demolishing or transforming its unloved concrete wall, once and for all”.

In 2013, another petition urged to cover over the concrete with greenery that was welcomed by Ando.

“I would support either way because everybody has different perspectives and vision towards anything that exists,” Ando told Manchester Evening News. “They can have very strong opinions or might be affected by trends or people around. I respect them all.

The 1995 Pritzker Prize winner’s only other project in the UK is a water feature, created together with Blaire Associates in London’s Mayfair.

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