Tadao Ando’s only project in the United Kingdom, the ‘Japanese Pavilion’ at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, is slated for demolition as part of a £10m redesign of the park and plaza. Built in 2002 as part of a makeover for the square, the pavilion takes the form of a long, gray concrete wall along the park’s southwestern edge, which critics have argued divide the public space, describing the design as “bleak and depressing” and comparing it to the Berlin Wall. The plans follow several years of public calls to reenvision the gardens. Six months ago, a 20,000-signature petition to knock down the wall was presented to the Manchester city council. In 2013, Ando himself admitted that the project could use some livening up, suggesting covering the structure in greenery. “For me, just because the building is built does not mean it is completed and it is in the final form,” he said at the time.
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