Sterling Leicester School of Engineering

Sterling Leicester School of Engineering
Sterling Leicester School of Engineering

James Frazer Stirling (1926 – 1992) is one of the most renowned British architects of the 20th century, and for many the Scotsman who has done the best work since the construction of the Glasgow School of the Arts by Charles Rennie Mackintosh at the turn of the century.


James Sterling's Leicester School of Engineering

During his life he made several renowned constructions, but it was surely the laboratory building of theSchool of Engineering at the University of Leicester, built between the years 1959 and 1963, his great creation. And that the work had important conditioning factors such as the irregularity and small size of the site on which it was built. He had one big advantage though, and that he made the most of James F. Stirling, and that was to enhance the view from the nearby park.

Due to the number of elements in the area and the little space available, it was inevitable that it would develop in height, and thus it seems to be above all the complexity that exists in that environment.

And another success of the architect is to expose his industrial-inspired materials that show his structure and his mechanical efficiency. Some materials that are cheap, but that due to their final layout give the building a very interesting and even attractive aesthetic aspect.

It is undeniable that as a good Scot, JamesStirling is a creator very attached to traditions and even handcrafted materials. Hence the very clear use here of the typical red bricks. However, he always knew how to merge these conservative elements with current affairs and new technologies. This is how the presence of the glass walls is understood, which also become the best illuminating element of the building's tower, taking into account the British climate.

That tower was intended for offices, laboratories, and larger meeting rooms. While the base of the set is broader and dedicated to workshops with heavy machinery. That is why there is a different design between both spaces. Being the lower part not at all transparent and without repercussion towards the outside, unlike the slender volume of the tower that undoubtedly attracts attention.

In short, it is a construction that has been extensively studied by the architects of his generation and also by later ones, valuing many of the structural solutions and concepts that he generated here. In fact, when we talk about Stirling we are talking about one of the first architects who was awarded the Pritzker Prize in the 80s of the last century, considered the Nobel Prize for Architecture.

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