Citizen Manchester

By Dan Dubowitz and Alan Ward

Citizen Manchester
Hardcover -
  • Price: £35.00
  • ISBN: 9780719095733
  • Publish Date: Mar 2014
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9573-3
    • Pages: 160
    • Price: £35.00
    • Published Date: March 2014


    In 2008, Manchester decided to embark on a counter-cyclical project, much as the city fathers had done in the last great recession, and invest significantly in two civic buildings, two buildings that were cornerstones of the making of the first modern industrialised city: Manchester Town Hall Extension and Manchester Central Library.

    Early on in this major redevelopment project, artists Dan Dubowitz and Alan Ward were given privileged and open access to witness this transformational period in the life of these two iconic buildings. Through large-format photographs and interviews taken and conducted over a period of eighteen months, they captured the moment when the city's citizens and workers had been locked out and the spaces were being stripped bare; revealing both a glimpse of what they had been and what they might become.

    The artwork provides insights on the reciprocal relationship between people and place, and reveals how the refurbishment of a building can go far beyond physical refurbishment, questioning the relationships between a city, its citizens and place.


    "The result is a book - published as Central Library reopens to the public - which is not a dry account of a construction project, but instead an artistic appreciation of this Romanesque wedding cake of a building at a momentous point in its history. It combines archive photography with still life studies of books, furniture and clutter. There are lovely little details such as the list of items found during renovation of the readers' tables, including an unfinished essay on James I, an Orange Club biscuit and sweet and crisp wrappers spanning several eras."

    Howard Bradbury, Cheshire Life, May 2014

    "beautifully printed, elegantly designed"

    (Owen Hatherley, Icon Magazine, 01/08/2014)

    Based around a series of photographs taken and found by artists Dan Dubowitz and Alan Ward during the refurbishment of Manchester's Central Library and Town Hall Extension, it is a huge, beautifully printed, elegantly designed...album.

    As a piece of design and architectural exploration, Citizen Manchester is exemplary - contemporary without being grinningly Blairo-modernist, focused on history without heritage kitsch, local without being petty, serious without being scholastic.


    1. Special projects
    2. Wisdom is the principal thing
    3. I was born... in the crime section
    4. Worshipping at the altar of process
    5. Dangerous buildings
    6. Concilio et Labore
    7. Coleridge at 44
    8. Crisis in heaven
    9. What would Vincent Harris do?
    10. Vincent Harris, Stanley Jast and Charles Nowell
    11. The Project
    12. Echoes
    13. Main Contractor
    14. Sub-contractors / One Team
    15. Apprentices
    Artists' acknowledgements


    Dan Dubowitz is a multi-disciplinary artist, photographer and cultural master-planner. His previous book for MUP was The Peeps: The presence of absence about the world's first industrial suburb

    Alan Ward is an award-winning designer, photographer and artist who lives in Manchester

    Citizen Manchester

    By Dan Dubowitz, Alan Ward

    Hardcover £35.00 / $52.95

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