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Manchester School of Architecture

Daryl Law, Tyler Bakhtiari, Yunqi Zhang

The Umbrella

Emerging as a connection between Bradford City Centre’s Central Mosque, and its Creative District, the Umbrella emanates, sheltering, connecting, once estranged communities. Developing a surrounding network, the Umbrella gives itself and the institutions in proximity a means of communication, not just between themselves, but to the broader community of Bradford. It becomes a hub to accelerate opportunity and understanding.

Context 2030

Bradford’s development over the next 10 years isn’t something we can claim to know. However, these are our core suppositions:
The various ethno-religious communities may see further estrangement, in part due to economic disparities between them; these issues, without direct action, can trend negatively. That concurrent infrastructural work backed by the government will be in action or completed. Namely the Clean Air Zone initiative, and the bolstering of broadband infrastructure.


The Umbrella’s primary function is that of a community centre with a number of outreach programmes for a variety of people to engage with. From there it acts as a literal, and figurative, bridge to the city centre, working in parallel with the aforementioned government programmes. Firstly the Clean Air Zone initiative; creating a significant pedestrian passageway connecting a major residential area to an up and coming area of the city centre (with the further aim of easing the economic disparity of this disconnected area). Then with respect to the improvement of broadband infrastructure, the new hub will be making use of data logistical technologies to provide carefully catered feedback to users, helping them coordinate their interaction with the centre.

Anchoring the Umbrella

By virtue of the connectivity of this hub, surrounding organisations can work in tandem providing a series of localised services and forming an anchor institution, or at least a network which amounts to one. This in turn gives local people a focal point to invest in, and situate themselves around, in turn reinvigorating the adjacent residential area with this newfound prosperity.