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Approval for Squire and Parters' Manchester office means farewell for Art Deco cinema - images

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Squire and Partners has won the go-ahead for this office block in Manchester's Oxford Road, ending the hopes of campaigners battling to save an abandoned 1930s cinema on the site.

Manchester City Council approved the new 16,500m2 development despite calls from the Twentieth Century Society for the well-known Art Deco Odeon cinema (below) - which closed in 2004 - to be listed.

The new 14-storey block for developer Manchester & Metropolitan is being hailed as the 'first major commercial development on Oxford Road' for years.

According to the practice, 'the exterior of the building is a robust contemporary response to the 'Manchester style' that has developed in warehouses and palazzos in the city centre.'

The design will feature a new belvedere tower, apparently taking reference from the prominent St James's Buildings and Palace Hotel on Oxford Road.

On the upper floors the facade will 'step back' to both create open space and reduce the impact of the development on the Manchester skyline.

Building work is expected to complete in 2009.

by Richard Waite

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