City Limits Part 1 Project 2006 Thomas Bennell Manchester School of Architecture, UK Dramatically turning its back on the inner city, the film centre embraces small-scale interest in the city centre. It's a legible building, a massive wall defining the point where the city centre breaks down. To one side, this is itself broken up by a series of oak and Corten blocks that reflect the dense, intricate scale of crumbling nearby buildings. A small courtyard continues a sequence of such spaces along the street, and provides a welcoming entry to a building of unexpected spaces and exposed structure, contrived to play on emotions in a manner analogous to film-making itself. Thomas Bennell Tom's project subtley inverts the prevalent urban grain by providing delicate and private spaces for reflection and creativity, shielding the accommodation behind a deliberate barrier which at once protects the spatial sequence but also acts as a marker into the city centre. Tom meticulously developed the massing and hierarchy of the spaces through thorough investigation and constant modelling enabling the scheme to develop as a considered and detailed response to the immediate contextual restraints and programmatic opportunities. The result is a sophisticated building rich with spatial discovery, diversity and layering.