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€
- Old Master
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Don't see much reason for keeping it.
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Definitely one of my favourites, one of the buildings that made me want to be an architect when I saw images and read the story of it's construction in Jim Stirling's biography. Still hugely impressive in the flesh though obviously unloved by the university. At least If McAslan is involved there will be a bit of sensitivity in what they do.
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