University of Huddersfield Oastler Building
The £27.5m Oastler Building is Huddersfield’s latest landmark structure – and underlines everything vice-chancellor Prof Cryan is seeking to achieve at the town’s university.
The new home for Huddersfield’s Law School and the School of Music, Humanities and Media is scheduled to open at the start of 2017 and will be a tribute to Richard Oastler, the 19th century reformer who campaigned to curb child labour and improve conditions for all workers in the new factories of the Industrial Revolution.
The six-storey building, occupying a prominent site on the Shorehead side of the campus, had its topping out ceremony in May – since when the impressive structure has began to take shape with a forest of scaffolding, the erection of its steel skeleton and the start of the installation of hundreds of glass panels.
Main contractor Morgan Sindall plc has sourced £210,000 of Yorkstone from Johnsons Wellfield Quarries at Crosland Moor. About 166 tonnes of the local stone will be used to clad parts of the 7,500sq metre building, which will also link into the university’s Student Central Building which was completed in January 2014 at a cost of £22.5m.
The new building is the latest in a series of massive construction projects for the university, which has spent more than £250m on the ever-expanding Queensgate campus over the 10 years Prof Cryan has held the top post.
But in many ways, it’s also the most important because of its prominent position.
Said Prof Cryan: “We wanted to make a bold, confident statement that said ‘We are the University’. Shorehead is where a lot of traffic comes together and we wanted something architecturally striking. When students and parents comes onto the campus I’m looking to give them the ‘wow factor’. If I can pull that off, they will come to study with us.”