Friday, October 05, 2007

What is Urbis for?

There's a piece on ManCon, here, asking the question I've often asked: What's Urbis for?

The interview with director Vaughan Allen is OK, but the comments from readers are better.

Here's Howard Sharrock: Urbis may be a delight but probably in sculptural terms rather than arcitectural. To be a great building it needs to fulfil some functional purpose. I've never seen any evidence that Urbis achieves this.

And here's the ex-creative director's sister: I was privy to some 'inside' information about what went on within the organisation. Apparently, for quite some time Urbis was under immense pressure by the Council to put on more 'Manchester' themed exhibitions and it has undoubtedly succumbed to the pressure in recent months; the Council even suggested just putting up a big show on United. Why? Because let's face it, folks - Manchester only cares about Manchester and Manchester's history.

Here's another anonymous poster: The problem with Urbis is all down to Ian Simpson (the architect) who was so busy trying for "iconic" that he didn't bother considering whether the building was welcoming to the casual visitor.

I went down this lunchtime to see the Hacienda exhibition which is running until February, here. Except when the whole building gets taken over by a bunch of cheek sucking numpties from the world of fashion for Manchester Fashion Weekend.

I think it can be a great asset. Plus, the thing I like about most galleries and museums is the shop. Urbis has a great one.

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