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Leicester University Engineering Building

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Stirling & Gowan
 
location Leicester
function university, water tower, workshop
contributed by davidb

It is reported that Stirling and Gowan argued constantly across their studio as they designed this building (whilst Michael Wilford, their first employee, sat in between them). Critics argue about who contributed what to the design, but there can be no argument that this is the most iconic British building of the mid-20th Century. The two architects were in their early thirties when they received this commission - only the practice's third - through Sir Leslie Martin. Edward Parkes, the first professor of engineering at Leicester, had two main requirements. The first of these was for north light to the heavy engineering shops, giving rise to the unique 45-degree, patent-glazed roof form. The second was for a 60-foot high water tank to give enough pressure for hydraulic experiments. This lead to the distinctive administration tower, which features in most photographs, and conceals the water tank at roof level. It remains an original and historic landmark building.

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31-Oct-14
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Facts
Leicester University Engineering Building
Address
University Road
United Kingdom
Project is not public!
How to get there? Although the University gives the building's address as University Road, it actually lies on the south western edge of Victoria Park some distance away from the road. The north end of Victoria Park is about 0.6 km south of Leicester Station (with direct trains to London St Pancras) along London Road. Parking at the University is restricted. A better bet is to park in Queens Road, south east of Victoria Park, and walk to the building which can be accessed from the Park.
Completion 1963
ArchitectStirling & Gowan
structural engineerFrank Newby
Client University of Leicester
 
Project ID 4513
Latitude/Longitude 52°37'13N 01°07'25W
Contributed by davidb
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