Maths and Social Sciences Building

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Maths and Social Sciences Building
Mancunian Way UMIST.jpg
The Mathematics and Social Sciences Building from Mancunian Way
General information
Status Vacated in 2010; awaiting demolition
Type Academic
Architectural style Highrise
Location Manchester
Coordinates 53°28′27″N 2°13′52″W / 53.4742°N 2.231166°W / 53.4742; -2.231166Coordinates: 53°28′27″N 2°13′52″W / 53.4742°N 2.231166°W / 53.4742; -2.231166
Completed 1968
Owner University of Manchester
Height 50 metres
Technical details
Floor count 15
Design and construction
Architecture firm Cruikshank and Seward

The Maths and Social Sciences Building is a vacant high-rise tower in Manchester, England. It was part of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) until that university merged with the Victoria University of Manchester, to form the University of Manchester, in 2004. It was vacated by the university in 2010 and is awaiting demolition.

The MSS Building was built in 1968, as part of the UMIST campus. Constructed from reinforced concrete and designed by architects Cruikshank and Seward, it has fifteen stories and an overall height of 49 metres (161 ft), making it the tallest building on the former UMIST campus. Unlike many examples of Brutalist architecture on university campuses of that period, the building deviates from a purely cuboid outline with decorative towers at either end (now used as convenient locations for mobile phone antennae) and the floors up to the 10th being larger, which also breaks up the outline. The building was used largely for staff offices, with some teaching rooms. The 10th to 14th floors (called floors M–Q) accommodated the Department of Mathematics. The "Social Sciences" in the building's name indicates that the building once housed the Management Department, but in recent years the Department of Computation occupied the lower floors of the building. They were to become the School of Informatics in the new university and have since been split between the Schools of Computer Science and Manchester Business School. A two-floor annex to the MSS building connected to the ground floor houses tiered lecture theatres.

It was built on the site of cramped terraced housing that accommodated factory workers that was studied by Friedrich Engels in his book The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844.

The new, merged University of Manchester announced in June 2007 that it plans to sell the Mathematics and Social Sciences Building. In July 2007, School of Mathematics relocated from MSS as well from the Ferranti building and the temporary buildings Newman and Lamb, to the new purpose-designed Alan Turing Building. Later in 2007, the staff of the former School of Informatics relocated, some of them to the Lamb building vacated by the mathematicians.

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