Kirklees College started life as Huddersfield Infirmary in 1831 up until 1967 when the Ramsden Technical College moved in, they paid £105,000 for the site.
In September 1968 the first students began lectures and the first new building on the site opened in 1969. The main new block was built in 1971 – the year the college became Huddersfield Technical College. In 2008 Huddersfield Technical College merged with Dewsbury College to form Kirklees College and relocated in 2013.
The campus incorporates 10 buildings over a 6.1 Acre site ranging from the old hospital complex to modern blocks of classrooms.
Some of the buildings have been used for the filming of the dramas Black Work, Remember Me where they changed some areas to be a care home, a hospital and a police station and the film Extremis.
The site is owned by Wiggett Construction Group, who have now confirmed they want to demolish the 1970s college buildings to make way for a Lidl supermarket.
Thanks to Derelict Places – they went inside, I didn’t, I don’t do that sort of thing.
I walked the lengthy perimeter, bobbing in and out of nooks and crannies in search of nothing in particular. Chatted to a Kirklees employee who had worked at the site, he regretted its closure and passing.
“This building had character, it was great to work here – now it’s going to be a supermarket.”
A curious amalgam of municipal classicism and hard edged 70s modernity, presided over by a sombre, care worn and patinated Edward VII.
Which seems both serendipitous and heartwarmingly convenient.
The bus station was opened on Sunday 1 December 1974 and is owned and managed by Metro. It is now the busiest bus station in West Yorkshire. The bus station is situated in Huddersfield town centre, underneath the Multi-storey car park. It is bordered by the Ring Road – Castlegate A62 and can be accessed from High Street, Upperhead Row and Henry Street.
There are 25 pick-up and three alighting only stands at the bus station.
Forever in the shadow of its Red Rose almost neighbour in Preston.
Some forty five miles and a fifteen and a half hour walk to the west.
Yet still a thing of beauty and a joy forever – given the recent repairs to the membrane covering of its multi-storey car park.
On the day of my visit it was clean, compact, cheerfully bustling and well used, passengers busy going about their business, of busily going about their business of going.
Light classics played soothingly upon the Tannoy, punters popped in and out of Ladbrokes, the kiosk plied its trade, the café was full and an air of calm, clear functionality reigned.
I often visit Huddersfield, and I often discover something new, exciting and different.
The Caledonian Café is everything that it isn’t, it’s the slow accretion of time, personal taste and accoutrements. Not frozen but slowly evolving, warm and welcoming. Owners Tony and Claire were more than happy to offer their company, tea and sympathy.
“The students come in to do their projects, sometimes they just ask to photograph the salt pots.”
I was more than happy to oblige and comply.
The prices are more than reasonable, and Tony goes out of his way to accommodate his customers.
” The families don’t always have a lot, so I give them two plates and split the burger and chips for the two kiddies.”
It was still early for me so I settled on a large tea, but I’ll be back before long for a bite to eat.
So best foot forward, get yourself down to the Caledonian, you won’t be disappointed.
Slap dab in the middle of the town stands a lone tower block of residential, social housing.
Buxton House backs onto the lower rise Civic Centre and is conjoined to the main shopping street and precinct, linked by a low wide underpass. Adorned on its street entrance by the most enchanting mosaic, announcing a spry geometric optimism to those shoppers and residents that pass under, through the underpass.
Ten floors of homes are bound in brick concrete and glass – a truly commanding central location, graced by the inclusion of an incongruous Chinese restaurant – The Mandarin.
Huddersfield West Yorkshire shares a legacy with many other towns, a legacy of successive shopping developments of varying styles and quality. Shaped by fashion, topography and finance each makes a more or less bold statement on the fabric of the area.
In order to survive each geo-retail layer of architecture, must reinvent itself or die – adding new branding, covering period detail with newer, ever more impermanent fascias, flagging flagging and flags of all stripes.
I encircled the Piazza – its monumental nether regions, enlivened with almost temple like scale and applied brick, stone and concrete surfaces, the dark and forbidding, cinematic subterranean service tunnels, and the open walkways of the main shopping areas.
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.”
One can only marvel at the ingenuity and vision that brings together modern architecture, technology and municipal functionality. It has produced an indoor market place of lasting and everlasting beauty and wonder.
Vaulted concrete roof columns and high side lighting from the pierced window strips between the split level roofing lead the eye up towards eternity.
The exterior and interior walls are both adorned by some of the finest mid-century public art.
A lasting provincial splendour that offers more with each visit – it’s irresistible.