Brookfield House is in Stoneygate Conservation Area, Leicester’s best surviving Victorian suburb. University of Leicester (UoL) acquired the house and its surrounding area in 2013 and developed proposals for a ‘distinctive and relevant’ business school.
The project saw extensive remodelling, retrofitting and extensions to buildings and landscape ranging from the 1890s to the 1960s. The proposals brought the heritage building back closer to its original form by removing accretions and insensitive additions.
As part of the project, a new block was erected and echoes the form of the Victorian house and uses a combination of brick and copper as the main materials, with Ibstock’s Ivanhoe Cream brick being chosen to blend harmoniously with the Victorian buildings and used in a variety of ways.
There is also a new lecture theatre with an oval shape that is dramatically highlighted with a dog-tooth bond, while the clean lines of the main new build elements used pre-cast units with brick slips to form the strong form of the gable ends and soffits to projecting features. More traditional techniques were used to refurbish brickwork to the stable block.
Working closely with UoL and the School of Business, the team of architects, brickwork contractors and main contractor utilised Ibstock’s Ivanhoe Cream brick and ensured that the new school’s exterior matched that of the Conservation Area and surviving Victorian suburb.
Consultation sessions and workshops were held throughout the design development, including meetings with the brand strategy team to ensure that the building would complement the surrounding aesthetics while also supporting the school’s vision and requirements.