The rich architectural heritage of the University of Leeds is explored in a new edition of a classic walking guide to its campus.
Walks Round Red Brick by the late Professor Maurice Beresford has established itself as the definitive source on the Universitys buildings and open spaces since it was published in 1980.
The new edition overseen by Dr Chris Hammond, Life Fellow in Material Science at Leeds, brings Beresfords classic up to date, adding revised histories and notes on the latest additions to the Universitys architecture. Photographs by Ruth Baumberg document the campus contemporary sights.
Professor Beresford wanted to remind members of the University that they were surrounded in their daily work by a free open-air museum of architectural and social history and I think that holds as true today as it ever did, Dr Hammond said ahead the book launch on March 12.
Unlike many big city universities, the Leeds campus has a consistent planit is designed so the pedestrian can move around in itbut it also has great diversity, from the 19th century gothic redbrick of the Great Hall, to the Portland Stone era of the 1920s to 1950s exemplified by the Parkinson Building to the great statements of the 1960sthe E.C. Stoner building and Chancellors Court, Dr Hammond said.
There have been many such grand schemes. In the Portland stone era there were ambitious plans for transforming the campus and in the 1960s the architects were going to more or less demolish everythingall the houses, all the terraces. The fortunate thing about Leeds is that all these great schemes only went part of their way. Nothing over dominates. We have got this wonderful mixture that has a unity to it but is not uniform.
Dr Hammond added: You go from the domestic scale of the terraces and the Leeds University Union to Chancellors Court and the Roger Stevens Building, which is a great set piece, to the Parkinson Building. You go from the intimate to the grand to the iconic in a few minutes walk.
Dr Hammond said recent additions to the campus had added to Leeds architectural wealth.
The approach now isnt knock down, but lets conserve. Old buildings are incorporated into the fabric of the new. I think that has been done really successfully with, for example, the Charles Thackrah Building on the Western Campus. These are not shy developmentssome of them are quite radicalbut they are bringing more variety to the campus.
The guide not only offers detailed histories of the campus buildings and anecdotes about the personalities involved in building the university, but guides the reader on a series of walking routes around the campus. Dr Hammond has kept Professor Beresfords original text largely intact, adding notes at the end of each section to update the information.
In the books foreword, Melvyn Bragg, Chancellor of the University of Leeds, writes: Not only have [Christopher Hammond and Ruth Baumberg] produced a detailed handbook to the richly diverse architecture of the University and its environs that is both diverting and informative; in following Beresfords footsteps, the walks they have mapped out also vividly tell the story of the social history of one of our great Victorian cities and the rise of one of our countrys greatest successesour world class universities.
The publication of the new edition was supported by The Thoresby Society and The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. Copies can be obtained from Jeremy Mills Publishing for £12.99 at www.jeremymillspublishing.co.uk/bookshop or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Tania Burnham, Communications Office, University of Leeds; phone +44 113 343 3996; email@example.com