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University of Leicester Engineering Building

Grade II* listed building originally opened in 1963 and named among the ten best post-war buildings in Britain by Historic England in 2015.
Exterior of the University of Leicester Engineering Building at twilight

Services (3)


Leicester, United Kingdom


University of Leicester



P Berman Guedes Stretton

Pick Everard

The University replaced the translucent roof and façade areas originally designed by James Stirling and James Gowan and upgraded the existing building services. The project saw each of 2,500 panels that form the Engineering Building’s distinctive sculptural roof structure and façade replaced, with the aim of extending the building’s use for a further 50 years.

Alongside English Heritage and the architects, proposals were developed to maintain the original building’s look and feel. Fully coordinated service routes were designed around the building making use of existing below-ground floor ducts to house fan-coil units. Our structural team assessed key components of the existing structure including the steel roof trusses over the workshop areas and laboratory block, together with the reinforced concrete beams and columns which support them to ensure that they could support the weight of the new glazed geometric glass roof.

Alec Stewart commented "This complex project required demanding engineering solutions to overcome the challenges of enhancing a historic building whilst incorporating contemporary technical requirements. The project team explored options for refurbishment, but a drive to remain faithful to the original building design informed the decision to retain the truss structure and cover it with a contemporary, precision-engineered system."

Key fact

A “project charter” was drawn up by the University and signed by stakeholders, to commit them to working in partnership to maintain the historic status of the building.


Alec stood leaning against a red work bench

Alec Stewart

Partner, Critical Systems

View bio

The special ‘listing’ status of the building and the services within it required an attention to detail which went way beyond the ‘norm’.