We arrive by train and dive deep underground.
The seemingly subterranean Bradford Interchange.
The Interchange was designed in 1962, it was hailed as a showpiece of European design when it opened in 1971.
Architects were the BR regional team and the City Architect.
The bus station featured a large ridge and furrow design of overall roof, which was subsequently demolished in 1999 to allow for a rebuilding of the bus station, which was opened in 2001.
Above us the tiled edifice of the station buildings.
Though as ever plans are afoot:
Projects that could see over £100 million spent on transforming Bradford city centre are about to take the next step forward.
The pedestrianisation of Hall Ings and Market Street, a new entrance to Bradford Interchange, and a park and ride scheme are all part of the Transforming Cities Fund – which will see tens of millions of pounds of Government cash spent on schemes in Bradford.
It’s such a pleasant surprise when you see it appear from around the corner.
Let’s take a look inside.
The bus back to the centre of Bradford once again.
Once around the Magistrates’ Court – City Architect Clifford Brown 1972
Where the enormous BT building of 1976 awaits.
They are commonly known to come in pairs – in this case partnered by this inter-war classical moderne telephone exchange.
The Central Library 1965 Mr WC Brown – a striking podium and tower.
With a delightful Portland Stone relief.
Around the corner to the Ice Arena.
In January 1966 Mecca Leisure Limited opened the ice rink in Bradford under the name of the Silver Blades Ice Rink, it was reputed to be The finest rink in the world, with coloured lighting in the barriers, sparkling chandeliers over the ice, and a plush bar and restaurant. The resplendently dressed skaters were entertained with organ music. The opening gala at the rink had performances by British skaters who had just returned from the World Championships, they included Sally Anne Stapleford, John Curry and ice dancers Bernard Ford and Diane Towler.
Threatened with closure in 1991, saved by the protestations of the protestors.
Let’s take a look at the University particularly the striking tiled relief.
Whole streets of houses were demolished, many people had to be rehoused as a result and work on Main Building began in May 1960. The building was commissioned by the Local Authority and designed by the City Architect, Clifford Brown, then handed over to the Institute. The lower four floors of Main were first occupied in October 1962; other parts of the building in 1963 and 1964.
When Main Building opened, it was part of the Bradford Institute of Technology. BIT was about to achieve the century-old dream of a University for Bradford: it received its Charter in October 1966, with Wilson as its first Chancellor.
It transpires that the tiles were the work of Joe/Joseph Mayo who also competed the meal at Bradford’s Rhodesway School.
Away now to not shop at the Co-op – WA Johnson 1935 a dizzyingly delicious horizontal vertical confection, with a central cylindrical glass column.
Let’s hot foot to the Kirkgate Centre and Market – John Brunton and Partners 1975.
Containing these William Mitchell reliefs and mysterious tiled panels.
The derelict former headquarters of Yorkshire Building Society, on one of the highest parts of the city centre, looms over the city centre, and to many people is the city’s ugliest building.
Although there have been vocal calls for High Point’s demolition, there are a growing number of groups and individuals calling for its preservation and celebration as a significant brutalist landmark in the event of any redevelopment. Speakers will also be asked to consider the future role of the Kirkgate Centre – another prominent brutalist building – in light of the centre’s proposed market refurbishment.
John Brunton and Partners 1973
Proposals would see the building – built in the 1970s as the headquarters for Yorkshire Building Society, converted from office space into an apartment complex.
Circus Developments was this week granted permitted development rights for the conversion, with the architect behind the scheme saying more details of the development would likely be announced this summer.
It’s utterly freakish, the severed head of some Japanese giant robot clad in a West Yorkshire stone-based concrete aggregate, glaring out at the city through blood-red windows, the strangest urban artefact in a city which does not lack for architectural interest. The work of Brunton seems almost too appropriate for the combination of wild technological daring, Cold War paranoia, shabby corruption and crushed dreams that defined the Wilson era.
John Cade inside the robot’s head.
Finally to Fountains