Photolab.AJ

Photolab.AJ

Posted on 10/26/2008


Photo taken on October 26, 2008


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IMG A2334fl

IMG A2334fl
This is Manchester’s Royal Exchange. A large Victorian building used until 1968 for trading cotton. It nowadays houses the Royal Exchange Theatre; a seven-sided, glass-walled and steel constructed module, which is literally suspended from the marble pillars situated in the Great Hall of the old Exchange.

The first exchange was built nearby in 1729; this was replaced by a larger building in 1806, and again replaced in 1867-74. It provided the largest trading room in England. The building was seriously damaged twice. A direct hit during World War II seriously damaged the building and the 1996 IRA bomb, which exploded less than 50 metres away. After the first incident the interior building was rebuilt with a much smaller trading area.

The building was used as exchange until 1968. The building remained empty until 1973 when it was used to temporarily house a theatre company. The innovative module theatre was completed in 1976. Somewhat surprisingly with regard to its size, the theatre can seat up to 700 people in a three level configuration, making it the largest theatre in the round in Britain.

The current use includes, besides the theatre, the Royal Exchange shopping centre and other high end stores like Nike, Lush, Pastiche and several art galleries, on street level in a cozy gallery running underneath the building.

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