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GLIMPSES: The Roger Stevens Building, University of Leeds

Above: The Roger Stevens Building, University of Leeds, LS2 9NH

Flo Armitage-Hookes is an artist & writer whose work largely explores the relationship between architecture & people through documentation and research. Her new series ‘GLIMPSES’ captures the small moments and intersections between form, shape and light. Her images recognise details of architecture which are often overlooked in the daily process of living. Flo has written a series of pieces that contextualise her almost abstract images.

It is likely that you will have walked past it, sat in it or will recognise its stark and imposing concrete form. But how much do you know about, arguably, the most impressive piece of Brutalist architecture in Leeds?

The Roger Stevens Building was built in 1970 by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon – architects of the iconic Barbican Estate in London – and was named after a Vice-Chancellor of the University. Despite being awarded a Grade II* listing in 2010, few admire its architecture. However, it is remarkable.

It is unapologetic. Segments overlap, space is added and subtracted, shapes protrude and recess, yet it does not appear disjointed. Curves regularly collide with straight lines - decorative cylinders drip down and obscure rectangular windows. The façade is untextured, unpainted concrete which proudly celebrates its materiality. The Roger Stevens Building is indelicate, brutal, beautifully turbulent and, above all, supremely confident.

Architecture is important. Whilst the world stops, it endures. It can give us a sense of normality, reassure us that the framework of our city holds. Some advice for your daily exercise in self-isolation; go for a walk and look up.

You can check out Flo's 'GLIMPSES' series on her Instagram HERE.

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