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Worsley Building, University of Leeds

4th August 2017

Having worked together on previous projects, Overbury appointed Stephen George + Partners (SGP) as delivery architects on the original phase of the Worsley Building refurbishment, and re-appointed them in the same role for the refurbishment of the School of Dentistry.

Starting by dealing with the planning conditions on the original approval, SGP worked closely with the Leeds City Council planning officer and Overbury to collate information and create plans that achieved detailed / design construction approval.

Explains Geoff Ward, Partner at Stephen George + Partners: “The University was committed to creating an inspirational set of learning and support spaces that would help motivate staff and students to achieve the best possible results. SGP was able to collaborate with Overbury and relevant sub-contractors and use our expertise to provide highly technical, practical solutions to a range of on-site challenges in order to deliver the client’s brief to their complete satisfaction.”

Being well over 100 years’ old, the fabric and structure of the Worsley Building threw up several challenges. For example, it was not until strip out works were taking place that it was discovered that the depth of the existing beams within the corridors varied and the height required by the client was not achievable. SGP worked with the M&E contractor to find a solution that would get the best possible height in the corridors by reconfiguring some of the services above the ceiling.

The University was keen to modernise the main entrance to the Worsley Building, creating a welcoming and uplifting gateway to the new facilities. The chosen schematic design was in the form of images, so SGP worked with the various sub-contractors to create a technical solution to turn the images into the reality the client wanted.

Continues Geoff: “This was not a standard detail that could simply be lifted of the shelf and applied to the area in question. In the end, the entrance was constructed with Trespa panels and full height strip lights with a secret fixing supported on a steel frame fixed back to the main structure to achieve a full water tight solution.”

PURE Café, the latest addition to the University-owned Great Food at Leeds portfolio, focuses on healthy and seasonal food options and expresses the trend towards health and wellbeing amongst students and staff. Overbury assigned SGP to be responsible for the coordination of the Café layout, as well as all finishes, final furniture layout and the layout of new counter work tops. As part of the process, SGP created a mood board to allow the client not only to see the planned design but also feel the materials and textures of the finishes. PURE Café is a relaxing environment – a modern bistro with an edge of industrial chic – for both the lecturers and students and includes some individual areas that allow patrons to work without the distraction of the larger café traffic.

The University was keen to follow through the idea of health and well-being by providing a relaxing roof garden, accessible to students, by the Café. Unfortunately, once all the loadings were calculated, this was unworkable, but SGP was still able to ensure the Café kept an open feel by using expansive bi-folding windows which could be opened and allow wide views across the whole of the roof garden.

More information is available at: www.overbury.co.uk


Photographer: Andrew Smith SG Photography Ltd

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