ROGER STEVENS BUILDING
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- ROGER STEVENS BUILDING, LEEDS UNIVERSITY
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- Statutory Address:
- ROGER STEVENS BUILDING, LEEDS UNIVERSITY
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SE 29431 34378
Reasons for Designation
The Roger Stevens Building, 1970, by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon for Leeds University South Campus is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Designers: the architectural practice of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon is recognised as significant for their work at Golden Lane and the Barbican in London, and New Hall, Cambridge, and the Roger Stevens Building represents the high point of their Leeds University work * Architecture: the building is an outstanding and individual design with bold external shapes and carefully designed interiors * Planning: the internal spaces are the result of extensive research on the requirements of the university and introduce innovative and influential features such as individual doors into the lecture theatres, and external links intimately with other buildings on the campus by means of multi-level walkways * Intactness: despite the changing requirements of universities, the building has remained largely unchanged, proving the success of its design * Group Value: the building provides a fitting centrepiece to the group of university buildings on the South Campus at Leeds, also recommended for designation (qv).
LEEDS LEEDS UNIVERSITY ROGER STEVENS BUILDING
GV II* The Roger Stevens Building is set on the eastern side of Chancellors Court, the central courtyard in the realised CPB plan. Other CPB buildings extend to the north, east, west and south, giving the Roger Stevens Building a central position overall. It is constructed of reinforced concrete, now rendered, with piers and walls supporting in situ beams and slabs.
The west elevation, facing Chancellors Court, has four stepped sections descending from right to left, divided by narrow, vertical, external, semi-circular ventilation shafts. In the bay between the second and third sections there is an external staircase projecting in semi-circular bays from the façade. The two left sections are supported on pilotis of diminishing height as the levels of the building descend, with a broad staircase descending from left to right within.
The east elevation faces over the rectangular pool which is at an intermediate level between Chancellors Court and the lower buildings to the south. The central block has a recessed glazed lower section with a recessed open balcony above; to either side is a fully glazed stair block. A sculpture by Quentin Bell on the central section overlooks the pool. To the right is a taller block, raised on pilotis over a ramp from the east that continues beneath the building, leading to Chancellors Court beyond. A similar block to the left is glazed at ground floor level and recessed above the first floor. The north elevation echoes the west face to the left, with a canted top section. The Red Route walkway enters at high level towards the centre and the right hand block is raised over the open staircase that extends to the south.
Internally there are four ranks of four lecture theatres seating 75 on the west side, and 4 theatres for 100, two for 150, one for 200 and two for 250 on the east side. The shallow steps of the staircases follow the stepping of the theatres, with doors leading off directly into the rows of seating within. Pre-cast beams in the larger theatres form the bases of the writing surfaces and seat supports, as well as the ceiling and floor structures. The central core has stairs, lifts (originally paternosters) and toilets. The ground floor to the east side is occupied by a cafeteria which is fully glazed on three sides and overlooked by a staircase to the west; it has long built-in tables and benches in timber over cast concrete stanchions, with fixed steel table lights with globe glass shades. Some seating and ceilings have been refurbished or renewed but doors to the lecture theatres retain original carpeted coverings as well as handles.
HISTORY:The Roger Stevens Building was built in 1970 as part of the development of the Leeds University South Campus by the architects Chamberlin Powell and Bon.
Leeds University began as the Yorkshire College of Science in 1877, becoming part of the Victoria University in 1887 and an independent university in 1904. Some of the earliest buildings were commissioned by the college from Alfred Waterhouse, including the Great Hall, the Textiles School and the Baines wing (all listed Grade II). From 1926 until the early 1950s the northern part of the site was developed with monumental buildings including the Parkinson Building and the Brotherton Library (Grade II), to the designs of Lanchester and Lodge.
Chamberlin Powell and Bon (CPB) won a limited competition to make new additions to the university in 1959, and produced a ground-breaking master plan in 1960. This looked in detail at the overall workings of the university, including the use of various facilities and the flow of movements between buildings. Consideration of these factors was manifested in the campus in the pedestrian routes at different levels facilitating efficient movement between areas. The analysis of this information informed the layout and distribution of the new buildings and became a template the development plans produced by other architects designing new university campuses in the 1960s and 70s, beginning with York in 1963. The Leeds plan was subsequently modified and a review was published in 1963 to meet a demand for an upwardly revised student population. The proposals were never fully implemented.
The CPB buildings at Leeds were constructed between 1964 and 1976. They are all recognisably by the same practice, although developments of its style can be seen in the later buildings, especially the Roger Stevens Building (1970). The design of the Lecture Theatre block was radically altered around 1965 from that which appears in the two Development Plans of 1960 and 1963. The 1963 plan shows a central service tower with minimal accommodation on the ground floor and with raked lecture theatres radiating out at the upper levels to form a butterfly-wing effect in a truncated oval shape. Chamberlin is largely credited with the revised plan, which prefigures some of CPB's designs for the theatre at the Barbican Arts Centre in London (1971-82).
CHAMBERLIN POWELL AND BON: The architectural practice of Chamberlin Powell and Bon was formed in 1952. All three were teaching at Kingston School of Architecture at Kingston College of Art and each entered a design competition to build housing for the Corporation of the City of London at Golden Lane. Geoffry Powell won and by previous agreement joined with the others to realise the project. In the first phase of Golden Lane, completed in 1957 and listed grade II, the landscaping is conceived as part of a total piece of urban design. A later phase, completed in 1962, shows the partnership adopting elements of Le Corbusier's architecture, expressed most forcefully in Crescent House (grade II*). This tougher style, in which new techniques in concrete forms and textures came to the fore, was adopted for all their mature work, including the Barbican in the City of London and Leeds University.
Soon after, the practice was asked to develop a further design for the adjacent, much larger Barbican area and this was built between 1963 and 1976 (listed Grade II), in parallel with the development of the Leeds campus. The extended time scales for the building of the Barbican and Leeds University resulted in stylistic developments throughout their construction, but the basic principles of urban planning, integrated facilities and brutalist architecture are common to both. The Leeds University project ranks with the Barbican in terms of scale and significance. Both are quite different in appearance from their domed New Hall College building at Cambridge (listed Grade II), dating to 1962-66. Other works, including the Geoffrey Chaucer School in Southwark (1958-60, Grade II), 30A Hendon Avenue in Barnet(1959, Grade II, the only private house by the firm), Bousfield School, Kensington and Chelsea (1954-6, Grade II), the Physical Education building at Birmingham University (1961-6, unfinished and unlisted), and the demolished Cooper Taber Seed warehouse and office in Essex, are from the firm's earlier phase, while New Hall is more experimental, and the Barbican and Leeds University each represent the form's maturity.
SOURCES Birks, Tony: Building the New Universities (1972), 9-19 Buchanan, Colin: Mixed Blessing (1957-8) Buchanan, Colin: Traffic in Towns (1963) Carey Jones Architects: University of Leeds Strategic Development Framework (unpublished report 2008) Chamberlin Powell & Bon: University of Leeds Development Plan (1960) Chamberlin Powell & Bon: University of Leeds Development Plan Review (1963) Charlton, S, Harwood, E and Powers, A, British Modern, (2007), 125-7 Editorial, 'British Universities', Architects' Journal, 127, (1958), p37 Harwood, E, England, a Guide to Post-War Listed Buildings, (2003) Lampugnani, V,M,, ed., Encyclopaedia of 20th Century Architecture, (1988), 63 Muthesius, Stefan: The Postwar University (2000), 70-80, 91-94 Pevsner, N, Yorkshire West Riding, Buildings of England, 638-9 'University of Leeds', The Architectural Review, Vol 155, No 923 (Jan 1974) Whyte, William: 'The Modernist Movement at the University of Leeds, 1957-1977' The Historical Journal, Vol 51, 1 (2008) p169-193. Wrathmell, Susan: Pevsner Architectural Guides; Leeds (2005), 176, 180-183
Reasons for Designation The Roger Stevens Building, 1970, by Chamberlin Powell and Bon for Leeds University South Campus is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Designers: the architectural practice of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon is recognised as significant for their work at Golden Lane and the Barbican in London, and New Hall, Cambridge, and the Roger Stevens Building represents the high point of their Leeds University work * Architecture: the building is an outstanding and individual design with bold external shapes and carefully designed interiors * Planning: the internal spaces are the result of extensive research on the requirements of the university and introduce innovative and influential features such as individual doors into the lecture theatres, and external links intimately with other buildings on the campus by means of multi-level walkways * Intactness: despite the changing requirements of universities, the building has remained largely unchanged, proving the success of its design * Group Value: the building provides a fitting centrepiece to the group of university buildings on the South Campus at Leeds, also recommended for designation (qv).
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing