Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

May Be Toast Toast Rack ; Landmark Building Landmark Building Faces Axe after 52 Years University Bosses Vow to Protect Its Legacy

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

May Be Toast Toast Rack ; Landmark Building Landmark Building Faces Axe after 52 Years University Bosses Vow to Protect Its Legacy

Article excerpt

Haleh Moravej, senior lecturer in applied nutrition at MMU, IT'S been home to thousands of fashion students for more than half a century - but now it seems that the 'Toast Rack' has finally gone out of style.

The Withington landmark - named for its distinctive roof and wedge shape - has been declared no longer fit for purpose by bosses at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The last students will be moving out next summer. No decision has been made on the building's future - but it is understood that it could be sold off.

That will mark the end of an era for a building described as a modernist classic by its supporters - and a blot on the landscape by its detractors. The 'Toast Rack', built in 1960, was designed by Leonard Cecil Howitt - the man behind Manchester's Crown Court and Blackley Crematorium.

It forms the centrepiece of MMU's Hollings campus, which specialises in fashion courses as well as food, tourism, hospitality and leisure.

MMU chiefs are keen to commemorate the building's history and have teamed up with the Manchester Modernist Society to record its story. The Society - an appreciation group for fans of the last century's overlooked architecture - has moved into the top of the building to work with students on the 'This one-opportunity not missed' Project .

It will select 52 items from the building - one to mark each year of its existence - which will be archived in a regularly updated web 'museum'. Project manager Haleh Moravej, senior lecturer in applied nutrition at MMU, said: "The closing chapter of Hollings faculty before our move to the new campus in the city centre in 2013 will be celebrated and recorded in the most stylish, unique and creative fashion.

a off life be "We are living in a digital, fastpaced and disposable world so to preserve curious objects, old documents and to get a chance to examine photographs of staff and students in the 1960s, to hear heartwarming human stories about one of the most iconic buildings of Manchester, to create a visual digital narrative and for staff and students to celebrate the building by getting to know how it all started and by whom and how, is a one-off life opportunity not to be missed. …

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