Durham University has applied for a Certificate of Immunity from Listing (COI) for its Brutalist students’ union building, designed by Architects’ Co-Partnership
The five-level concrete building, built between 1964 and 1966 by the river Wear, connects to Ove Arup’s Grade I-listed Kingsgate Bridge, which had opened two years earlier. Arup supervised the construction of Dunelm House acting as structural engineer and architectural advisor on the scheme.
A spokeswoman said the university had applied to Historic England for a COI for Dunelm House ‘so that due consideration can be given to its future’.
She said any such consideration would include ‘full public consultation’. A spokeswoman for Historic England confirmed that it had received the COI and was currently considering the application.
Dunelm House, described in 2011 by the university’s vice-chancellor Chris Higgins as one of ’the finest examples of 20th-century architecture in the city’, famously features a bust of Arup on one of its outside walls.
Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner called the block ’Brutalist by tradition but not brutal to the landscape… the elements, though bold, [are] sensitively composed’.