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One New Bailey To Rise On Doomed Ralli

Salford redevelopment moves forward on truly awful eighties scheme

Published on March 11th 2014.


One New Bailey To Rise On Doomed Ralli
 

SOMETIME in the late seventies design in Britain went weak-kneed and lily-livered. And so did planning bodies. Thus places such as Ralli Court appeared.

It will definitely age better than the dreadful pastiche that is Ralli Courts...but the big question is will it age well?

In otherwords fake Georgian townhouses with the scale all out of wack and looking dreadfully wrong.

These were built in reaction to the sort of 1960s concrete Brutalism that got it right about one in a hundred times although never ever not once got it right in the eyes of 'the general public'. 

Fake Georgian townhouse nonsense

Fake Georgian townhouse nonsense

Middling architects panicked and built dismal rubbish such as Heron House in Albert Square and these shockingly mixed up offices called Ralli Court. 

Now let's quote the press release we've received today.

'English Cities Fund (ECf) has submitted a reserved matters planning application for a new Grade A, BREEAM Excellent office building as part of Salford Central’s New Bailey scheme – a major city centre regeneration project that is situated adjacent (over the river) to the successful Spinningfields development. 

'To be known as One New Bailey, the office will be situated on the site of the existing Ralli Courts offices on Stanley Street, off New Bailey Street.  It will comprise125,000 sq ft and has a completed value of £51 million. 

'Funded by Legal & General, the office will be developed by ECf (a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General Property and the Homes and Communities agency), which hopes  to secure approval by July 2014. Construction will commence in September 2014 and is due for completion in September 2016. 

'The news comes just weeks after the announcement that Legal & General will forward fund this third phase of development in New Bailey, and marks the next stage in the transformation of this area of Salford to a vibrant, commercial and residential extension of the regional centre.  

'New Bailey already includes a £12.5 million, 143-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, which is under construction and due for completion in October 2014 andthe recently commenced 615 space multi-storey car park, which will complete in November 2014. The office has been designed by RHWL Architects who have been appointed as both masterplanner and lead designer for the building plots.'

That's the end of the press release.

Clearly activity on the strategically important right bank of the Irwell in the city centre is important. But activity at any price could just be another nightmare waiting to happen. 

Anywhereville Premier Inn

 

Anywhereville Premier Inn

The Premier Inn currently being built on Irwell Street in New Bailey is a disappointment, motorway junction fodder not worthy of a city centre site. Or thinking about it not even worthy of a motorway junction. You can read our criticism here.

The office shown at the top and bottom of this page looks better. It's designed by RHWL architects. This practice was responsible in the nineties for the Bridgewater Hall, but also is behind that ugly and inappropriate Premier Inn above. Oh dear.

Their scheme for offices is better and will definitely age better than the dreadful pastiche that is Ralli Courts...but the big question is will it age well? 

One New Bailey - Artists Impression

 

One New Bailey - artist's impression

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33 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2014.

It looks like One Piccadilly, which I started out disliking. I've come round to finding it relatively non offensive.

AnonymousMarch 11th 2014.

Should we fear devolving more powers to the cities of Manchester & Salford etc, when they "apathetically continue" to allow such cr*p to be built? All in all, destroying pride in their cities and basically making "aspirational people" just want to leave?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 11th 2014.

Three points. 1. Planning is primarily a legal process. 2. The building is being proposed by a developer not a Council. and 3. No planning application has yet been approved. Personally I think its fine. When you compare it to some of the office blocks at Salford Quays, this is much better. Relatively simple, sold and unfussy so it should age well.

Ghostly TomMarch 11th 2014.

I do hope they do demolish those fake, cheap, so called, Georgian, offices. There are also some on the edge of Soinningfields and some between St Peter's Square and the Bridgewater Hall that need the chop as well.

James SmithMarch 11th 2014.

You just know that Salford Council will totally and utterly f*ck this entire development up. Dear Manchester and Salford planning departments, Would you ask an architect for advice on how best to provide local social services? So why do you think that you somehow have the requisite skills to approve or deny key, multi-million pound developments? Yours, Someone who is getting fed up of seeing this place being turned into one of the dullest looking places in the UK.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 11th 2014.

Dear James. You appear not to know the first thing about how planning works.

GimboidMarch 11th 2014.

Erm... I think the council appoints staff who DO know how to approve or deny developments. It's called the planning system. And tell me, was Salford ever an exciting place to look at?

AnonymousMarch 11th 2014.

Have social services and planning services at Salford Council done a job swap?! Is that is being implied?

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

design has virtually no bearing on whether something gets planning. if its in the right location (i.e. offices in a business location) and things like highways are ok, then off you go. aesthetics only matter when developers are worried about profile - which tends to only be in the prime spots (see city of London)

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 13th 2014.

Should town hall planning departments/committees have more say over aesthetics though? Do they want that power, are they lobbying for it, would it be a good or bad thing - I don't know? What are the pros and cons here?

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

How many buildings do we have now that are "One" something or other?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidMarch 12th 2014.

I think most streets in the country have a number one, stop trying to be a smart arse.

AnonymousMarch 19th 2014.

Wow, Gimboid. Play nice... or do one.

GimboidMarch 19th 2014.

Quick comeback, dude. Respect.

Nick NameMarch 12th 2014.

I know what you mean Anon. I don't like it too. Why does every building that is number one have to have it in its name? What's better 405 Lexington Ave or The Chrysler Building? If it was a mile up the road would they have called it one Lexington Avenue? Doesn't have the same ring to it does it?!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
RudyMarch 12th 2014.

It's can be better for branding and marketing for the building to be named after the development / location.

RudyMarch 12th 2014.

*IT can be

James SmithMarch 12th 2014.

Gimboid, Anon - please enlighten me. I know that Leeds has a city architect, who I presume has some overall strategy as to how the city should develop. As does just about every European major city as far as I'm aware. But please do explain to me 'the first thing about how planning works', that I don't know, not that I ever claimed to.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidMarch 13th 2014.

Hmm, nah you're alright. Find out for yourself, or just stick to ranting about things you DO understand.

James SmithMarch 13th 2014.

Hold my hands up Joan. Always found Leeds a nice looking place.

Nick NameMarch 12th 2014.

Yeah I get your point but 30 st Mary's axe or the Gherkin? 96 tooley st or the shard?

1 Response: Reply To This...
RudyMarch 12th 2014.

Individual buildings not part of a wider redevelopment schemes, that are landmarks on their own.

Poster BoyMarch 13th 2014.

Buildings like Ralli Courts were developed in the mid 1980's (not late seventies) as a function of an absence of finance for speculative office development in the North. The likes of Ralli Courts, Oxford Court, Gartside Street etc were therefore targeted towards funding by commercial mortgages from owner occupiers and took their cue from the popularity of buildings in peripheral locations such as St. John Street -ie; demand from small partnerships in the legal, medical and other professions. Today, buildings like One New Bailey are a function of the public/private sector 'regeneration industry' prevalent on the edges of cities, also in the absence of pure development finance. The building which replaces Ralli Courts, is atypical of the straight up and down monolithic functional boxes -which meet the demand of public sector and 'inward investment' occupiers. It is easy (and lazy) to re-write history but the development of a former railway goods yard/large car park next to Salford Station/Stanley Street/West Riverside/Ralli Courts in a tertiary location, is not the result of the 1970's, or weak-kneed, lily-livered planners or reactions against brutalism. It is a function of the market, nothing more nothing less. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 13th 2014.

If I could like this I would

tomegranateMarch 13th 2014.

Yep, very nicely explained Poster Boy.

James SmithMarch 13th 2014.

But that should not be a reason to just accept it.

Ken HoltMarch 14th 2014.

To be fair to the writer he says architects lost their confidence in the late seventies not that the buildings were built then.

Jonathan SchofieldMarch 14th 2014.

But still Poster Boy the choice was either made by or dictated to the architects for badly scaled Georgiana. There were other solutions. Those buildings didn't have to be like that. It was a ridiculous example of nostalgia architecture ignoring the fact that different uses destroy the old balance of the buildings they are trying to replicate.

Poster BoyMarch 14th 2014.

"There were other solutions..." Glib.

AnonymousMarch 19th 2014.

This fakery solution also produced crappy little floor plates, automatically limiting the kind of space it might be used as. Very poor and unimaginative.

James SmithMarch 13th 2014.

So I assume you think these are good developments then Gimboid?

1 Response: Reply To This...
GimboidMarch 14th 2014.

I have no idea what could logically lead you to that conclusion.

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