An architectural snapshot of brutalism at UMIST

In February, the University of Manchester and Bruntwood SciTech signed legal documentation to build a £1.5bn innovation district named ID Manchester. Place North West reports that a masterplan for the project is expected later this year.

The proposed site is located off Oxford Road, next to the Grade II listed Sackville Building. Early concept design and site plan indicates that the district will be built where the old University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) stands.

An early-stage concept design shows a vision of the site that incorporates at least part of the Renold Building, but it is unclear exactly how much of UMIST will be retained. These photographs, taken in 2021, provide an architectural snapshot of UMIST.

The Renold Building is made up of a 2-storey base and 6-storey tower which has a glass-enclosed external stairwell. It is named after Sir Charles Renold, an engineer and one time vice-president of the Manchester College of Science and Technology.

The Barnes Wallis building was named after aircraft designer Sir Barnes Wallis who opened the building in 1967. It once housed the students’ union and refectory and saw performances from The Who, The Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix and others.

An article from the Modernist Society provides some excellent contextual information and photographs of UMIST, including the Grade II listed Anthony Holloway Screen Wall.