Tag Archives: brutalism

Roger Stevens Building – Leeds

Roger Stevens Building – Leeds
Construction: 1970
Architect: Chamberlin, Powell & Bon

This unique building was designed by Barbican architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon as part of their Leeds University campus master plan. Rightfully grade II* listed in 2010, the listing can be found here.

Worsley Medical and Dental Building – Leeds

Worsley Medical and Dental Building – Leeds
Construction: 1975
Architect: Building Design Partnership

A very heavy and solid looking building, with vertical concrete strips interspersed with glazed sections.

Subject of a very odd episode of building sites with the artist Damien Hirst

Merrion Centre – Leeds

Merrion Centre – Leeds
Construction: 1964
Architect: Gillinson, Barnett & Partners

First opened in 1964, the Merrion Centre recently celebrated its 50th birthday. The photos are of the large office block that rises above the complex. Not a huge amount has changed since the opening, but one of the most obvious things is the shocking plastic cladding which can be seen intruding in the bottom right of the first photo. I just don’t know what people are trying to achieve with plastic cladding of this kind. It ruins the original vision of the building, but surely it isn’t fooling anyone into thinking that this isn’t a huge brutalist beast. While vast concrete blocks aren’t to everyone’s taste, vast concrete blocks with plastic panels stuck to them aren’t to anyone’s taste. Anyway, here’s a charming story about the opening of the centre from the Yorkshire Post:



Bank House – Leeds

Bank House – Leeds
Construction: 1969-1971
Architect: Building Design Partnership

This building was formerly the regional headquarters of the Bank of England. The design is striking, with each floor cantilevering over the one below forming an inverted ziggurat. Additional texture is added to the surface by the projecting window modules. The whole thing is clad in a smooth grey marble, while I would have preferred an honest smooth concrete finish, I guess that the regional headquarters of the bank of England demands a certain luxurious feel. The building was recently grade II listed.


Attenborough Building – Leicester

Attenborough Building – Leicester
Construction: 1970
Architect: Arup Associates

Home to Leicester University’s Arts and Humanities departments, the Attenborough Building consists of three towers clustered around a central core connected to a low rise seminar block via a raised walkway. The most distinctive feature of this construction is the windows, which angle at the top leaving the bottom to protrude from the exterior surface of the building. Ostensibly to provide ventilation to the interior, this unusual feature certainly provides an interesting texture to the exterior. Like the Sheffield University Arts Tower the Attenborough tower is serviced by a paternoster lift, although on this visit I didn’t have a ride.

Charles Wilson Building – Leicester

Charles Wilson Building – Leicester
Construction: 1966
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.


Lee Circle Car Park – Leicester

Lee Circle Car Park – Leicester
Construction: 1961
Architect: ?

To many the Lee Circle Car Park is an eyesore that should be demolished. The building has certainly seen better days, it was once considered a vision of the future, as you can see in this fantastic Pathé Film