Manchester has been keeping a secret and now the time has come to tell the world. Manchester has been hiding the most architecturally significant building – the Edgar Wood Centre
The Edgar Wood Centre, situated on Daisy Bank Road, Manchester is a Grade I listed building and was designed and built by Middleton-based, world-renowned, architect – Edgar Wood.
The centre, which is one of only 10 Grade I listed buildings in the whole of Greater Manchester, is widely regarded as being one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Europe.
“First Church of Christ Scientist, Daisy Bank, Victoria Park. 1903 by Edgar Wood is one of the most original buildings of that time in England or indeed anywhere.”
Nikolaus Pevsner, architectural historian
Edgar Wood, was educated in Middleton and is known to be a visionary architect – one of the most elusive and brilliant that this country has ever produced. He was known to have been working on cubism, art deco and modern architecture in the late 19th Century well before those styles of art were even coined and was widely reported to be the leader of the arts and craft movement in the north of England.
In 1903, The First Church Christian Scientists, an American denomination, asked Edgar Wood to design its first church in Europe. They wanted something distinctive and that would stand out. The result was an expressionist church with an abstract quality – very different to conventional Art Nouveau – and a style that hadn’t been seen before – firmly placing the building in the arts history books.
The First Church was the most stylistically advanced architecture in Europe. The main building, which looks like it embraces you as you walk up the entrance path, greets you with an art nouveau doorway and as you enter into the main room you are instantly drawn to the repeated semi-circular arches in the timber roof and the gushing of natural light which fills the room. The floor runs downhill to the marble reredos, which is reminiscent of Viennese Secessionist design – as is the balcony screen which encases the organ stand.
In the ‘reading room’ there is a beautiful Art Nouveau fireplace – a deep emerald green colour – which according to architectural experts would be well placed in the British History Museum.
Danny Samuels, a director of the company owning the building, is working closely with the Edgar Wood Society and said: “Having this beautiful space in Victoria Park is absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder to have been fortunate enough to be its custodian.”
The Edgar Wood Centre is now available for functions, and is fully licensed to hold ceremonies in any of the function rooms, which can cater for up to 300 people, and is ideally situated near the motorway network for access and the city centre for accommodation.
Further information on the Edgar Wood Centre or to make an enquiry please visit the website www.EdgarWoodCentre.com or follow on Twitter @CentreWood and Instagram @edgarwoodcentre