Dunelm House, Durham
Located on the banks of the River Wear, the white concrete structure was completed in 1966 by the Architects’ Co-Partnership, engineered by Ove Arup. It is physically connected to the Grade I-listed Kingsgate Bridge, also designed by Arup, and considered by him to be one of the most important of his career.
The Brutalist building features heavy-angled facades of concrete, with a roof of large interlocking precast concrete u-units that form a 'broken' profile above the eaves. Inside, the five levels are linked by the main circulation space and staircase running in a straight line to create a stepped internal ‘street’.
The university estimated that the redesign and repair work necessary to make the building fit-for-purpose would cost £14.7 million, and have applied for a certificate of immunity from listing which would otherwise protect the building from demolition.
There is considerable opposition to the demolition proposal. Campaigners argue that refurbishing the building would cost much less than demolition and rebuilding from scratch. They point to other successful refurbishment projects of Modernist buildings such as Park Hill in Sheffield and the Barbican in London.
The Twentieth Century Society said: “We consider the award-winning Dunelm House to be a remarkably intact survivor of its era, historically and architecturally significant and to have group value with the beautiful Kingsgate Bridge adjacent.”
In November 2017, the Culture Secretary stood firm on her decision not to list the building, saying that it 'does not possess special architectural interest' and that it was ‘not stylistically or structurally innovative’.
In response the Twentieth Century Society said:
‘The Twentieth Century Society fundamentally disagrees with the minister’s conclusion that Dunelm House lacks architectural significance. The society considers that this is a unique building and surpasses any other of its date for its response to its setting.'
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
The IHBC seeks to raise awareness and understanding of how building conservation philosophy and practice contributes towards meeting the challenge of climate change.
From Amenity Societies and Wentworth Woodhouse to Kurt Schwitters, Scotland’s Towns, Chester and more...
The former Royal High School building in Edinburgh is to be transformed into a £55 million national centre for music after the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to the lease of the historic property.
The joint-institute document aims to help maintain cultural heritage by providing a consistent framework across different sectors & geographies
IHBC’s Gus Astley Student Awards 2021: Win £500 and a place on IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School with your built environment/heritage coursework, closes 31/07!
The last remaining buildings on the site of the Harris meat factory family’s historic mansion are being restored to their former glory and converted into new homes.
The Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum) has unveiled a new guide to the crucial and increasingly complex issue of professional indemnity insurance (PII).
ICOMOS has advised that the new football stadium proposal, if implemented, would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact its authenticity and integrity.
Responding to the changing working patterns of a post-Covid Scotland, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) has revealed new plans to help retrofit public spaces into out-of-town alternatives to city centre offices.
The free-to-access online issue mixes the topical and practical to explore how the sector can best adapt to digital innovation.