Toast Rack (building)

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Hollings Building
Fallowfield campus, Manchester Metropolitan University.jpg
The "Toast Rack" and "Poached Egg" [1]
Alternative namesThe Toast Rack
General information
TypeAcademic (1960–2013)
Architectural style Modernist
Location Fallowfield, Manchester, England
Coordinates 53°26′51″N2°13′00″W / 53.4473854°N 2.2167121°W / 53.4473854; -2.2167121
Construction started1957
OwnerEstrela Properties Ltd
Design and construction
Architect(s)LC Howitt
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameHollings Building at Manchester Metropolitan University
Designated24 April 1998
Reference no. 1119722

The Toast Rack, formerly known as the Hollings Building, is a Modernist building in Fallowfield, Manchester, England. The building was completed in 1960 as the Domestic Trades College, became part of Manchester Polytechnic then Manchester Metropolitan University until closure of the "Hollings Campus" in 2013. [2] It was designed by the city architect, Leonard Cecil Howitt and is known as the Toast Rack due to its distinctive form, which reflects its use as a catering college.

The architecture critic Nikolaus Pevsner described the building as "a perfect piece of pop architecture". [3] It was Grade II listed in April 1998 by English Heritage who describe the structure as, "a distinctive and memorable building which demonstrates this architect's love of structural gymnastics in a dramatic way". [4] To others the building symbolises the ideals of the Festival of Britain and architectural positivity following the Second World War. [5]

The building's structure consists of a concrete frame with a brick infill on the bottom half of each storey. The building is seven storeys high and its hyperbolic paraboloid frame continues on the exterior, hence the toast rack comparison. Although the building's unorthodox form is playful, its tapering shape also helps to divide space into varying sizes for larger and smaller classes. A semi-circular restaurant block is attached to the west and is informally known as the "Poached Egg". [6]

Manchester Metropolitan University left their Hollings campus in 2013 as they consolidated their facilities towards the city centre. [7] The building was then put up for sale, [8] being bought by developers for £4 million in 2014. [9] There are plans to redevelop the building with flats, a leisure centre and a rooftop garden. [10] In 2023, the Toast Rack and its adjacent buildings were put on the market with planning consent for a mixed-use development. [11]

See also

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  1. Cooper, Glynis (2002) The Illustrated History of Manchester's Suburbs. Derby: Breedon Books; p. 77
  2. Hollings; Manchester Metropolitan University
  3. "Toast Rack / Hollings Building". 23 January 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  4. Historic England. "Hollings Building at Manchester Metropolitan University (1119722)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  5. "The Toast Rack, Manchester" . Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  6. Cooper, Glynis (2002) The Illustrated History of Manchester's Suburbs. Derby: Breedon Books; p. 77
  7. Organ, Anthony (1 November 2012). "End in sight for 'Toast Rack'". Mancunion. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  8. McKeegan, Alice (11 January 2013). "Is it the end for Manchester's iconic Toast Rack building?". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 22 July 2023.
  9. Bainbridge, Pete (18 May 2017). "Blaze at the Fallowfield 'Toast Rack' - witnesses saw concrete falling from building". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  10. Slater, Chris (2 March 2016). "Manchester's famous Toast Rack building could get futuristic redesign under plans to create 210 new flats". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  11. Whelan, Dan (20 June 2023). "Buyer sought for Manchester's iconic Toast Rack". Place North West. Retrieved 23 February 2024.