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UEA to feature in National Trust’s ‘Brutal Utopias’ tours

This autumn, National Trust partners with the University of East Anglia, Southbank Centre and developers Urbansplash for Brutal Utopias, a nationwide project celebrating Brutalist architecture. 

Love it or not, Brutalism was the dominant post-war architectural movement that sought to offer the best of design to the masses through public housing schemes, new universities and venues for the arts and education that were accessible to all. Fifty years on, Brutal Utopias reconsiders this era. 

For a period of ten days starting on Friday 25 September 2015, a number of one-off opportunities to experience Brutalist architecture anew will be curated by National Trust with our partners. These include behind-the-scenes tours of the University of East Anglia as well as the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, and tours of the iconic Park Hill flats in Sheffield.

The celebration will also feature expert-led Routemaster bus tours of London’s other iconic Brutalist sites and a discussion of Brutalism’s legacy at the Southbank Centre. 
Of the seven New Universities founded in the early 1960s to expand student numbers, the University of East Anglia was the boldest in terms of its architecture. Designed by Denys Lasdun, who also created the National Theatre, the architecture of the university was intended to express a new concern with bridging the traditional academic disciplines and encouraging informal interaction between staff and students alike.

Tours of the University will include the context of the creation of the university, Lasdun’s early designs, and the opportunity to experience the network of concrete walkways, the ‘Teaching Wall’ – nearly half a kilometer of teaching spaces – and the iconic ‘Ziggurats’ where students lived and socialised. Tours of the site will be led by experts associated with the university’s design and formation, including David Luckhurst who succeeded Lasdun as one of UEA’s architects and designed many features of what remains a thriving modern university.

Dates: Saturday 3 October to Sunday 4 October 
Location: The tours begin under the sheltered area of Block E of the Arts Building (corner of Chancellor’s & University Drive), and end at the Sainsbury Centre.
Times: 11.00, 12.30, 14.00 and 15.30
Duration: 80 minutes maximum
Tickets: Day Tours - £7 (adult), £6 (concession)

Book tickets here.


Visiting UEA