“Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.” – Daniel Libeskind
Have you ever wondered why university buildings are architecturally grandiose and imposing? They are simply learning spaces, after all. Should they not be functional and practical rather than remarkable and ornate?
We’ve been lucky enough to work on some magnificent university buildings, our latest being the Parkinson Building of the University of Leeds. We always find them awe-inspiring, and I think that’s the point. Their purpose is to inspire.
In the same way that the books and papers you read throughout your education are simply the foundation on which true learning is built, educational architecture provides the setting that stimulates creativity and cultivates brilliance.
In stimulating the senses, universities also seek to stimulate the brain.
When we think of university students, we don’t think of them head down, learning by rote each line of a thick tome but rather gazing out of the window, considering what they have just read and interpreting its meaning in their own way. It is the ability to contemplate, to think beyond the words on the page that matters.
“An object should be judged by whether it has a form consistent with its use.” – Bruno Munari
The Grade II Listed building we’re currently working on is, in university terms, still an infant. Whereas the notably historic Oxford University dates back as early as 1096, the Parkinson Building was only completed in 1951.
This makes it no less impressive, however, and the 187 ft-high clock tower is now a prominent landmark which can be seen from the M621 motorway some 12 miles from the site. It has become such an emblem of the university itself, in fact, that the clock tower was incorporated into the university logo in 2006.
It was designed and built in the Greek Revival Style by Thomas Arthur Lodge, a leading Scottish architect, and Thomas Geoffry Lucas, an English architect and Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. It is named, however, after the former Leeds University student, Frank Parkinson, who contributed £200,000 towards its construction.
Suffice to say, we are thrilled to be working on yet another iconic building that is beloved within its home city and by all who are inspired by, and within, its walls.
Storm has been employed to fit 95 windows with bespoke secondary glazing as part of more extensive works to make the Parkinson Building more accessible.
Our work will help make the space inside warmer and more inviting, eliminating the draughts so the only shivers will be induced by the visionary architecture and artworks within.
We hope thousands of future students will continue to gaze wistfully through the windows of the Parkinson Building, pondering life’s big questions and loving where they learn.
For more information or to book a free no-obligation survey, simply give us a call on 01384 63 63 65 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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