A new home for the School
November 10th, 2015
MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies student, Becky Crump, introduces a new project to showcase the unique heritage of the building currently under renovation as the new home for the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.
Situated at the top of University Road, the former Geography building is undergoing major building work, to be turned into the new home of the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. With the building due to be handed over in May/June 2016, the MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies programme is working on a project to showcase the unique heritage of the building and its place within the University of Leeds.
The Geography building is an established addition to campus. The building was originally built as a home to the Faculty of Agriculture, with the plans for its original construction drafted shortly before the outbreak of WWI by the architect Paul Waterhouse. The war impacted the budget for the building, and the revised plans were brought to completion by Waterhouse’s son, Michael, the third generation of the family to work on projects for the University campus, in 1924. The building went on to house the School of Geography from 1993 to earlier this year, when the School moved across campus.
The first part of our project took place earlier this autumn, when we were given a guided tour of the building by the project manager Mark Dodgson and construction group Sewell. There was a massive emphasis on conservation in the construction plans, with the construction team keen to preserve the unique features of the Grade II listed building. As well as preserving many of the original features, the builders are planning to employ traditional building methods in their restoration work, to keep the authenticity of the building alive. Several discoveries have been made during the works so far, including hidden original features missing from archived drawings.
We will be developing an event in the coming weeks to bring awareness to the conservation efforts of the university and construction team. Our project aim is to discover the heritage of the building and its controversial and interesting past. Throughout our research we hope to develop an opportunity for everyone interested to experience a detailed insight into its past and future.