In The National Computing Centre: “White Heat,” Modernization, and Postwar Manchester, Richard Brook examines Britain’s National Computing Centre (Cruickshank & Seward, 1967–75) as an example of mainstream modern architecture. The NCC was a project of Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s Labour government (1964–70), built in Manchester and linked to the creation of Britain’s Ministry of Technology. Set against a backdrop of the ColdWar, nuclear cultures, and emerging computing technologies, this study considers the links between Manchester, its broader region, and the central UK government. Brook situates architecture as both negotiated practice and unfinished project within the context of the state, and describes the role of policy and personnel in site selection, architectural design, and the realization of a politically important postwar project.
The National Computing Centre: “White Heat,” Modernization, and Postwar Manchester
Richard Brook is an architect and historian whose research focuses on postwar mainstream and municipal modernism. He is the author of Manchester Modern and an adviser to the Manchester-based Modernist Society. His recent funded projects include an examination of the intangible values of British postwar infrastructural landscapes. https://www.msa.ac.uk/staff/rbrook/
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Richard Brook; The National Computing Centre: “White Heat,” Modernization, and Postwar Manchester. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 December 2020; 79 (4): 438–458. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2020.79.4.438
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