Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Chips Building Is Legacy of Maverick Architect

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Chips Building Is Legacy of Maverick Architect

Article excerpt

IT was the humble chip that inspired Will Alsop to create one of Manchester's most recognisable buildings. The revered architect, who died this week, was the mastermind behind not just the Chips building, but also the urban village which surrounds it - New Islington.

Back in 2002 New Islington, in Ancoats, was better known as the Cardroom Estate.

A rough hand-drawn sketch was jotted down by Alsop as he worked with Urban Splash to develop a strategic framework and masterplan for the area. A close friend says it shows his 'maverick mind' in action.

Alsop had the vision to transform the area into an inner-city village that would connect the Ashton and Rochdale canals and extend the city centre to the north.

What followed was a major redevelopment of historic mills which populated the estate. They have since been redeveloped into flats and apartments as well as new builds.

But at the centre of the redevelopment was Alsop's nowfamous Chips building - so called because it looks like a stack of fat chips balancing on top of each other. The striking eightstorey building has become one of the most obvious landmarks in the trendy and popular new suburb.

Hundreds of homes, workspaces and community facilities, like a health centre, Cottonfield park, New Islington free school, the Metrolink and the marina populate New Islington.

Alsop, who died on Saturday aged 70, worked on the New Islington strategic framework with Urban Splash, who led the project.

Described as a 'maverick genius',' Alsop was famed for his unusual visions, including Peckham Library - which won the 2000 Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling prize. …

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