The University of Reading’s 1970’s ‘Lego Building’ has been granted a Grade II listing, meaning that Hawkins Brown will have to alter its plans to revamp the site.
Following the university’s appointment of Hawkins Brown to the two year refurbishment plan and request for a certificate of immunity from listing, the Twentieth Century Society submitted the application for statutory heritage protection.
Officially named the College of Estate Management, the building was one of the last major university developments carried out by Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis and was finished in 1973.
After the Grade II listing decision, a spokesperson for the university, said that they are carefully examining the listing decision and will make the necessary adjustments to their proposals, subject to final planning permission.
They continued: “We have taken care in our development of the designs to this point to respect the existing building to the extent of consulting with the original architects. We are therefore very conscious of ensuring that we work with the original design.”
Twentieth Century Society Director, Catherine Croft, said that the listing decision was good news as she believes its distinctive form and strong silhouette makes it an important building that was designed by one of Britain’s major architectural practices in the post-war period.
Croft added: “We acknowledge that some modernisation needs to be made but we want to ensure that any alterations are conservation-led and in keeping with the integrity of the original design.”
The building is constructed as a major teaching block of four and five storeys and provides conference rooms, studio rooms and two lecture theatres, along with a range of other offices and teaching spaces.
Historic England said in its listing decision that the building is “rigorous and functional, without pretension or grand gesture, and the very low level of alteration is testament to its qualities. It stands comfortably alongside the best post-war university buildings.”