Farrell and Clark complete University of Leeds School of Geography project

Architects Farrell and Clark LLP were appointed by University of Leeds School of Geography to assist in the re-design and re-development of the recently completed School of Geography.

The School of Geography which was previously located on the outskirts of the campus on University Road has been rapidly expanding over the past few years to the point that new larger premises were required to accommodate 60 Academics, 26 support staff, 25 post-doctoral researchers, 600 undergraduate students, 60 masters students and 76 Research Postgraduate posts.

Geography’s new home provides over 4,000m² of modern up-to-date and innovative teaching, laboratory, storage and office space as well as dramatic and distinctive social and reception accommodation.

The School has re-located within a number of the realised buildings of the 1960 Chamberlin Powell & Bon University Masterplan and the proposal creates a fitting and appropriate location for the successful and expanding department in the heart of the University campus.

The Grade II & Grade II* buildings were listed as exemplars of post-war international modern style and together these buildings provide a unified style and layout to the southern end of the campus.

Throughout the design process the team held a number of meetings with local Planning and Conservation Officers, as well as representatives from English Heritage to agree a design approach which both respected the buildings listed status and created a contemporary new school.  

The detailed proposals strip the original buildings back to their key structural elements and re-plan and redevelop them as they were originally intended, addressing the ever-changing requirements of a modern university yet respecting the foresight and innovation of their original design.

Jackie Goodall, director of Facilities of the School of Geography, said: “We are delighted with the new facility.  Farrell and Clark were involved in the first development of the School of Geography over 20 years ago when it moved to University Road, into the premises formerly known as the Agriculture building so they were our obvious choice. 

“They were appointed due to their extensive experience of delivering complex campus projects at many of the Northern Universities”.

The building structure and façade has been visually enhanced by replacing the original steel single glazed windows with a new high performance double glazed system, whilst still maintaining the original narrow vertical pattern typical of the Chamberlin Powell & Bon buildings on campus.

The building’s thermal performance has also been significantly improved by replacing the façade glazing, together with the introduction of other thermal insulation linings to the solid elements of the building structure.

The accommodation now provides fully refurbished spaces comprising a main entrance area, office accommodation for academics and students, including ‘break-out’, informal meeting areas and social spaces, ICT clusters, teaching and lecture rooms, two floors of research laboratories, microscopy suite and close temperature controlled environments.

Interior School of Geography
Interior of the School of Geography

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