Huddersfield – University née Polytechnic

Spanning the Huddersfield canal and set on a hillside site of a hilly Yorkshire town, the University Buildings dominate the Colne Valley area to the south.

Typically their history spans an earlier site which evolves during the 50s and 60s, as part of the drive to develop the industrial/educational base of the area and the burgeoning growth of the provincial Polytechnics.

The result is a confident yet dizzying panoply of styles and materials on a fairly compressed but expanding site.

Brick, concrete, glass and more recent modern clad additions collide in a bun fight of assertive volumes.

It all seems very exciting.

“David Wyles, The Buildings of Huddersfield: four architectural walks – facing us now is the impressive bulk of the Central Services Building in front of which stood a six-storey building; its structure emphasised by the reinforced concrete frame which projected skeleton-like above the main roof level. This was part of the earlier Technical College development which included several buildings of similar style designed from 1957 onwards by Frederick Gibberd. The six-storey blocks have since been demolished.

The focal point of the campus, the Central Services Building, was designed by Hugh Wilson and Lewis Womersley of Manchester and constructed between 1973 and 1977 at a total cost of £3,651,000. The building contains the main non-teaching facilities.

Much of the layout derives its form from the hillside site and this is accentuated by the undercover concourse leading through to the canal, which gives access to all parts of the building. The construction is based on a grid of reinforced concrete with floors supported on circular columns. The building is clad in light buff coloured bricks intended to harmonise with local sandstone.”

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