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Ground-breaking buildings listed

Post-war buildings at the University of Leeds which created world-wide interest when they were built have been listed on the recommendation of English Heritage.

Post-war buildings at the University of Leeds which created world-wide interest when they were built have been listed by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) on the recommendation of English Heritage.

Modernist structures including the striking Roger Stevens Building (Grade II*) have been listed along with others including the Henry Price Residence and the Edward Boyle Library (all Grade II).

The decision to list the buildings reflects their architectural interest and that they were based on a ground-breaking masterplan which was widely influential in the development of other university campuses.

Architectural design for university buildings in the UK was regarded to be in a largely poor state in the post-war period up to the 1960s. The architects behind the University of Leeds' expansion - Chamberlin Powell and Bon (CPB) - attempted to break the mould and present a modern, ambitious vision that reflected both the best in architecture and new ideas in education.

They studied the way the university worked, paying attention to aspects including the flow of people between buildings using pedestrian walkways, to produce an immensely influential blueprint.

Robert Sladdin, Director of Estates at the University of Leeds, said: "In 1958, CPB was given the task of transforming the University for the modern age, and the masterplan they produced did not disappoint. Their work was visionary and campus was transformed.

"Initially, the buildings were warmly greeted, but over time the 'brutalist' architecture began to divide opinion, and to an extent, that ambivalence remains to this day. Nonetheless, the architecture remains striking and quite unlike much of what you see on other UK campuses."

Nick Bridgland, Heritage Protection Team Leader, said: "These buildings at the University of Leeds rank with the Barbican in London, also a CPB project, in terms of scale and significance. The Roger Stevens Building, built in 1970, represents the high point of their work in Leeds. It is an outstanding and individual design with bold external shapes and ingeniously designed interiors.

"But what marks Leeds out is that this is the first attempt to create an integrated university campus of this kind. The Brutalist design of the individual buildings is not to everyone's taste. But it represents an important and internationally significant milestone in 20th century architecture which is why we recommended listing them.

CPB's University of Leeds masterplan aimed for pedestrians be able to travel from one side of the campus to the other in no more than 10 minutes. The campus already has a number of listed buildings dating back as far as 1799.

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0113 346 6085, mobile 0775 367 003 or Guy Dixon, University of Leeds media relations - 0113 343 8299 or g.dixon@leeds.ac.uk

Note to Editors

Buildings listed at Leeds University are:

GRADE II*

  • Roger Stevens Building

GRADE II

  • EC Stoner Building
  • Computer Science Building
  • Mathematics/Earth Sciences Building
  • Senior Common room
  • Garstang Building
  • Manton Building
  • Communications and Edward Boyle Library
  • Henry Price Building

The University of Leeds began as the Yorkshire College of Science in 1874, becoming part of the Victoria University in 1887 and an independent university in 1904. A number of buildings dating from earlier phases of development have already been listed. These include a range of pre-university houses now incorporated into the campus, dating from between 1799 and 1872, two 19th century churches and a number of monuments in St George's Fields. The 1877 Great Hall (including the Textiles School and Baines Wing) by Alfred Waterhouse, built for the Yorkshire College of Science, is listed, as are the School of Mineral Engineering and the monumental Parkinson Building, including the Brotherton Library, designed by Lanchester and Lodge in 1929 and 1930. All are listed at Grade II.