Tag Archives: University

Queen Margaret Union – Glasgow

Queen Margaret Union – Glasgow
Construction: 1968
Architects: Walter Underwood and Partners

This building is home to one of the University of Glasgow’s two Students’ Unions and contains a music venue, various bars, food outlets and offices. The highlight for me is the fantastic concrete staircase around the rear of the building. It has certainly seen better days. The graffiti and collection of bags of sand at the bottom give it a dismal appearance, while the bars preventing roof access at the top make it look angry and imposing. Yes, sand needs to be stored and dangerous student hijinks need to be prevented, but in my opinion it would be worth cleaning this up and making a bit of a feature of it.

If you are into Scottish Brutalism then have a look at the excellent Scottish Brutalism website. It was a useful resource for planning my Glasgow trip and for some details of the buildings.

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

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.


Leicester University Engineering Building – Leicester

Leicester University Engineering Building – Leicester
Construction: 1959-1963
Architects: James Stirling & James Gowan

Unusually for a building featured on this site, the exterior of Stirling and Gowan’s construction is primarily covered in red brick and tile. While the materials may be traditional, the structure is anything but. There are plenty of interesting features – two lecture theatres project outwards from the main body, a staircase spirals up inside a glass tube, and at the rear ribbon windows angle outwards from the top in a way similar to those of the nearby Attenborough Tower. Rising above all this, the main tower is an expanse of steel and glass. The building, which is still well used, was grade II* listed in 1993.