University of Leicester Engineering Building

University of Leicester Engineering Building Book, Department Workshops, Stirling and Gowan

University of Leicester Engineering Building

UoL Roof Renewal Publication, central England, UK 20th Century Architecture

6 Dec 2017

University of Leicester Engineering Building Roof Book

University of Leicester Engineering Building Roof Reconstruction Publication

6th December 2017 – The ‘happy ending’ to the story of ambitious project to refurbish iconic Engineering Building

University of Leicester publishes account of the challenging build from the perspective of its lead designer

The Herculean task of replacing the iconic roof of one the world’s most revered pieces of 20th-century architecture has been captured on the page by the lead designer of the project.

University of Leicester Engineering Building roof University of Leicester Engineering Building roof

Photo credit: University of Leicester, photographs by Simon Kennedy

The University of Leicester has published Diamond-tipped, the story of how the ambitious refurbishment of its Engineering Building was accomplished. Written by Thomas Pearson, an architectural conservationist at Arup, it offers an unrivalled insight into the Grade II* listed building, completed in 1963 to designs by architects James Stirling and James Gowan.

Published by the University of Leicester, the new book is available to purchase at the bookshop of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Diamond-tipped: Conservation at the Engineering Building, University of Leicester) or from the University of Leicester at Diamond-tipped: Conservation at the Engineering Building, University of Leicester Book.

University of Leicester Engineering roof University of Leicester Engineering roof

The University of Leicester has invested substantially in the Engineering Building to improve its technical performance and comfort for users. The complex project took nearly two years of intricate work on site to accomplish, delivered by a consortium of partners. Overcoming the challenges of enhancing the historic building while respecting its unique appearance demanded sophisticated engineering solutions, including an entirely bespoke glazing system.

While the prospect of re-glazing a glass building might seem simple, the reality has been formidably challenging; Diamond-tipped documents the process, exploring the nuances of the conservation approach, the intricacies of the design, and the continuing resonance of the building today.

University of Leicester Engineering Building roof
picture : University of Leicester

Thomas said: “The Engineering Building is famous in the architectural world, and the original design has been well documented already. I wanted to describe what happened next: the decline of the building’s health over half a century and what was done recently to fix it. It’s a fascinating story with a really happy ending.

“A project like this is a once-in-a-career opportunity. Working on a building of such international importance – and then telling its story – has been a great honour.

“I hope readers will appreciate the complexity of the building and the care we took to protect it. I also hope it helps ‘unlock’ the architecture: the Engineering Building still looks totally avant-garde and that puts a lot of people off. But like all great art there is a lot to admire once you get to know it.”

University of Leicester Engineering Department Building
photo : University of Leicester

Working with a wider team including construction manager Lendlease and glazing contractor Fill Metallbau, the Arup team provided heritage consultancy, façade design, and other engineering services. The book includes sketches, technical drawings and photographs all the way through from concept design to completion, and presents Stirling & Gowan’s original design ‘warts and all’.

Brita Sread, Director of Estates and Campus Services at the University of Leicester, said: “When the University of Leicester started on the path to replace the roof of our iconic Engineering Building the enormity of the task of and enhancing and preserving Stirling and Gowan’s original vision soon became clear. The now completed roof is the result of meticulous and technically demanding work from our staff, contractors, heritage stakeholders and partners in the city of Leicester which Thomas Pearson details with meticulous attention. It is a fitting tribute to those who worked on this project, as well as a fascinating insight into this once-in-a-lifetime project.”

University of Leicester Engineering Building roof
picture : University of Leicester

The Daily Telegraph included the Engineering Building in a national list of the fifty most famous structures in the UK, including Hadrian’s Wall and Stonehenge, in 2008. Among its many other plaudits, it has been hailed as one of the top 10 most inspiring buildings in the UK and most recently, was listed as one of the ‘world’s best unsung buildings’ by The Guardian.

Following detailed negotiations with the University, Leicester City Council, Historic England and the 20th Century Society, work began on site in 2015. The aim was that the new roof and other works would protect the distinctive architecture, including all of the different geometric profiles and forms, and extend the functionality of the building for another fifty years.

University of Leicester Engineering Department Workshops:
University of Leicester Engineering Department Building
picture : Berman Guedes Stretton

University of Leicester Engineering Building Roof Reconstruction images / information from University of Leicester

7 Oct 2017

University of Leicester Engineering Building Roof Reconstruction

University of Leicester Engineering Building Roof Reconstruction Exceeds Expectations

Watch a video on the Engineering Building, its construction and history:

Complex project to replace the innovative Stirling and Gowan glass panelled roof is completed

University of Leicester Engineering Building
picture : University of Leicester

19 Mar 2012

Leicester Engineering Building

Leicester Engineering Department Building Talk

University of Leicester Engineering Department Building:
University of Leicester Engineering Department Building
photo : University of Leicester

Berman Guedes Stretton

25 Oct 2011

University of Leicester Engineering Department Workshops

Leicester Engineering Department Building Renovation

Design: Berman Guedes Stretton

University of Leicester Engineering Department Building:
University of Leicester Engineering Department Building
picture : University of Leicester

University of Leicester Engineering Department Workshops:
University of Leicester Engineering Department Workshops
picture : Berman Guedes Stretton

Leicester Engineering Department Building

University of Leicester Engineering Department Workshops images / information from S&R

Engineering Building, Leicester University
Dates built: 1959-63
Design: Stirling and Gowan: James Stirling, James Gowan and Frank Newby
Grade II* listed building

James Stirling Architect

Address: University Rd, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.




Leicester Buildings

NMT Building
Associated Architects
NMT Building Leicester
picture : Associated Architects

NMT Building Leicester

Leicestershire Architecture

Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester
1964
Sir Denys Lasdun
Charles Wilson Building Charles Wilson Building Leicester
photos : Warren Jukes
Civic Trust Award 1969

Curve – Leicester Theatre & Performing Arts Centre
Rafael Vinoly Architects
Curve Leicester
photo : Peter Cook/View
Curve Leicester

David Wilson Library, University of Leicester
Associated Architects
David Wilson Library
photo © Martine Hamilton Knight
University of Leicester building

De Montfort University Library, Leicester
Eva Jiricna Architects
De Montfort University Library
photograph : Peter Cook
De Montfort University Library

Highcross Leicester – formerly The Shires Shopping Centre
Foreign Office Architects
The Shires Shopping Centre
image from ArcelorMittal
Highcross Leicester

Leicester College Abbey Park Building
Bond Bryan Architects
Leicester College Building
image from architect

Leicester College Building

River Soar Foot and Cycle Bridge
Explorations Architecture with Buro Happold
River Soar Foot Bridge
image from architect

River Soar Bridge Competition : RIBA Competition




Read a feature on the technical work of the project here: Roof reconstruction on University of Leicester’s Engineering Building

University of Leicester Engineering Building roof
picture : University of Leicester

Website: University of Leicester Engineering Department

County Architecture adjacent to Leicestershire

Derbyshire Buildings
Lincolnshire Buildings
Northamptonshire Buildings
Nottinghamshire Buildings
Warwickshire Buildings

James Stirling Architect

English Architect

Comments / photos for the University of Leicester Engineering Department page welcome

Leicester Engineering Department – page

Website: University of Leicester