The Hollings Building located on Wilmslow Road (Fallowfield, Manchester) was formerly part of Manchester Metropolitan University (formerly Manchester Poly) and before that at its completion in 1960 the Domestic Trades College.
The building closed in 2013 as MMU and Manchester University centralised and combined institutions as part of a “£350m investment programme in creating new high-quality learning environments, supported by key welfare and academic services administration in the city.”
At the time a council report said “The University are in discussion with the City Council and are in discussion with English Heritage to agree a development strategy for this asset… Given the buildings listing, its condition and the challenges that it presents in respect of creating an economically viable development proposition for this building, consideration is currently being given to engaging the market to establish if there are other viable opportunities that could be considered.”
Given the building still stands unaltered at this stage 10 years later, clearly nothing was agreed and it would appear nothing is on the horizon.
The Toast Rack, as it has lovingly become known by many in Manchester, was designed by architect Leonard Cecil Howitt.
The building is a concrete framework in a hyperbolic paraboloid shape with infill from the bottom up. There are 7 floors in total. Although the building’s unorthodox form is playful, its tapering shape also helps to divide space into varying sizes for larger and smaller classes. A semi-circular restaurant was attached to the building and is playfully as the “Poached Egg”. Eggs on Toast anyone?
It is believed that the building is now owned by developers, having been bought for £4Million.
Cover Photo by Dunk