Toast Rack (building)

Last updated
Hollings Building
Fallowfield campus, Manchester Metropolitan University.jpg
The "Toast Rack" and "Fried Egg"
Alternative namesThe Toast Rack
General information
StatusGrade II
TypeAcademic
Architectural styleBrutalist
LocationFallowfield, Manchester
Coordinates 53°26′51″N2°13′00″W / 53.4473854°N 2.2167121°W / 53.4473854; -2.2167121 Coordinates: 53°26′51″N2°13′00″W / 53.4473854°N 2.2167121°W / 53.4473854; -2.2167121
Construction started1957
Opened1960
Renovated1994
Owner Estrela Properties Ltd
Design and construction
ArchitectLC Howitt

The Toast Rack, or formerly known as the Hollings Building, is a Modernist building in 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. 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.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 2.7 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Leonard Cecil Howitt – often referred to as L. C. Howitt – served in both World Wars and was Manchester City Council's chief architect from 1946 until he retired in 1961.

The pre-eminent architecture critic Nikolaus Pevsner described the building as "a perfect piece of pop architecture". [1] 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". [2] To others the building symbolises the ideals of the Festival of Britain and architectural positivity following the Second World War. [3]

Nikolaus Pevsner German-born British scholar

Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner was a German, later British scholar of the history of art, especially of architecture.

English Heritage charity responsible for the National Heritage Collection of England


English Heritage is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that it uses these properties to ‘bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year’.

Festival of Britain national exhibition in the United Kingdom, 1951

The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition and fair that reached millions of visitors throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951. Historian Kenneth O. Morgan says the Festival was a "triumphant success" as people:

flocked to the South Bank site, to wander around the Dome of Discovery, gaze at the Skylon, and generally enjoy a festival of national celebration. Up and down the land, lesser festivals enlisted much civic and voluntary enthusiasm. A people curbed by years of total war and half-crushed by austerity and gloom, showed that it had not lost the capacity for enjoying itself....Above all, the Festival made a spectacular setting as a showpiece for the inventiveness and genius of British scientists and technologists.

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 "Fried Egg".

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently a lime-based cement binder, such as Portland cement, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

Manchester Metropolitan University left their Hollings campus in 2013 as they consolidated their facilities towards the city centre. [4] The building was then put up for sale, [5] being bought by developers for £4,000,000 in 2014. [6] There are plans to redevelop the building with flats, a leisure centre and a rooftop garden. [7]

Manchester city centre central business district of the City of Manchester, England

Manchester city centre is the central business district of Manchester, England, within the boundaries of Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and Whitworth Street. The City Centre ward had a population of 17,861 at the 2011 census.

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References

  1. "Toast Rack / Hollings Building" . Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  2. Historic England. "Hollings Building at Manchester Metropolitan University (1119722)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  3. "The Toast Rack, Manchester" . Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  4. "End in sight for 'Toast Rack'". 1 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  5. "Is it the end for Manchester's iconic Toast Rack building?". Manchester Evening News . 30 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  6. Bainbridge, Pete. "Blaze at the Fallowfield 'Toast Rack' - witnesses saw concrete falling from building". The Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  7. Slater, Chris. "Manchester's famous Toast Rack building could get futuristic redesign under plans to create 210 new flats". The Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2018-01-12.