Reconnecting Rylands

Rylands warehouse has a unique location, situated at the cusp of four of Manchester’s quarters, I found that Rylands warehouse acted as an obstacle to the Northern quarter, Causing the bordering streets to be inactive and unused. The company Ryland and sons began in the cotton trade, which has connotations with poor living and working conditions, child labour and slavery. From this I derived the narrative to undermine John Rylands, the founder of Ryland and sons who constructed Rylands warehouse, by dramatically altering the building and how people interact with it, denouncing the building as a monument to John Ryland.

I have created two fractures which cut through Rylands, both of which undermine the authority which the building represents. They also create new connections from market street onto Bridgewater Place, Birchin Lane, and Joiner Street as well as creating a pedestrian link from Market Street, into the Northern quarter. The increase of footfall into these areas will encourage further development and business opportunities, activating a currently inactivated area.

In my investigation work I identified that high street shopping as we know it is declining and there has been an increase in the popularity of independent retailers. As a response, my design reuses the ground floor as a shopping arcade, creating retail spaces designed with small independent businesses in mind. This also brings the Northern quarter to Market Street, using s similar language seen in the Northern Quarter seen in the independent retailers and Afflecks. Thus, rejecting Market Street and the Arndale, in favour of the Northern Quarter.