Another of the countryâ€™s most significant modernist buildings, Stirling & Gowanâ€™s Leicester University engineering laboratory, could be partially demolished, the university signalled this week.
The grade II* listed building, described as â€œquite exceptionalâ€ by Kenneth Frampton, is the subject of an open-ended feasibility study, with the main tower set to be left unchanged while options for the workshop and south block range from demolition to adding extra storeys.
A shortlist of five architects has been drawn up, which BD has learnt includes John McAslan & Partners.
The university said the building was not energy-efficient, included asbestos insulation, and suffered from the deterioration of alloy glazing bars.
Senior building surveyor at the university Jim Whait said: â€œYou have to consider where the university stands. Finding [Â£6-8.5 million] for this refurbishment is a hell of a lot when weâ€™re struggling to maintain all our estate.â€
A heritage source criticised the university, claiming the building could be â€œradically affected. This is possibly the most important post-war listed building in the country,â€ he said.
â€œThe university knows it is listed but has no idea why, and considers its listed status an impediment to its future development plans.â€
McAslan defended the open-ended brief: â€œInevitably, certain options will be considered more seriously, but you canâ€™t eliminate any before you do the work.â€