Charles Wilson Building – Leicester
Architect: Denys Lasdun
As you reach the top of Leicester University’s drive the Charles Wilson Building is the first thing that greets you. It’s a great feature building and a foretaste of some of the wonderful modernism to be found around the campus.
One of the many things to love about this structure is the fact that it looks like a happy robot. The bulk of the building is raised on thin stilts giving a shaded portico and allowing a fully glazed wall on the ground floor. The horizontal is emphasised on the main body with thick concrete banding, but this is broken up on the front by the continuation of the stilts and on the sides by service towers with vertical strips of windows. The ‘head’ features an interesting cluster of towers and a heavy looking external staircase. The concrete is a warm sandy colour, which blends well with the yellow bricks that are used sparingly on the ground floor.