Manchester has moved forward with plans to demolish part of renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando
’s modernist wall in the city’s Piccadilly Gardens green space. The wall, which in recent months has become a canvas for protests against the government’s response to COVID-19, is Ando’s only structure in the United Kingdom. It went up in 2002 as part of a citywide redevelopment project to rehabilitate the image of both the gardens and Manchester at large. Its minimalist concrete aesthetic, however, has been a source of divisiveness for residents.
In 2014, after the Manchester Evening News lobbied for the wall’s removal, city council members announced plans to beautify the structure with greenery. Opinion has since shifted in the intervening years, however, and earlier this year council members announced plans to demolish the free-standing portion of the wall that still remained in public hands. Demolitions began on Monday, and will continue in incremental overnight shifts for the next several weeks.