York University Design Unit

Scope and Content

The archive comprises a range of project files, and in some cases plans and drawings, relating to building and design projects undertaken by YUDU and covering the period 1965-1984. Plans may be flat (folded in files) as well rolled. The file series also includes some administrative files relating to YUDU and to associated IAAS courses.

Administrative / Biographical History

The York University Design Unit (YUDU) was a commercial architectural practice that operated within the University. It was established in 1966 as part of the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies (IAAS) and was privatised in 1981. The Unit started with the objective of forging a link between the practice of architecture and teaching. While it operated as an architect's office, the architectural practice complemented IAAS’ short course programme. In its early years, it carried out a number of commissions for the University, including staff and student housing. The practice subsequently became more commercially orientated, with an emphasis on housing and a specialism in the design of GP’s surgeries. David Crease RIBA, MIStructE was its long-time director, having started at the University in 1963 as Research Director within IAAS. The Institute’s research programme had begun by investigating the design of student housing and as the Chief Architect, Crease moved from the post of Research Director at IAAS to become Director of YUDU. YUDU’s architectural philosophy was described as ‘long life, loose fit, low energy; innovative within the vernacular tradition, with an emphasis on the spaces between buildings’. Student accommodation at Eden’s Court, St Lawrence Court, and the staff housing at Bleachfield came out of the IAAS research work and besides also founding and working with local Housing Associations to access funding for building new housing to meet the needs of a growing University, YUDU was also involved in local developments at Holmefield, West Moor Lane and McHugh Court. During its existence YUDU achieved three medals and two commendations for good design in housing, a Civic Trust Award and first prize in the York Parliament Street competition. The flourishing practice was privatised in 1981 by mutual agreement as the demands of the practice and the educational needs of the University became harder to reconcile. The independent firm of Chartered Architects was established in 1982 as Crease Edmonds Strickland Architects, and latterly as Crease Strickland Parkins Limited.

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Note

The York University Design Unit (YUDU) was a commercial architectural practice that operated within the University. It was established in 1966 as part of the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies (IAAS) and was privatised in 1981. The Unit started with the objective of forging a link between the practice of architecture and teaching. While it operated as an architect's office, the architectural practice complemented IAAS’ short course programme. In its early years, it carried out a number of commissions for the University, including staff and student housing. The practice subsequently became more commercially orientated, with an emphasis on housing and a specialism in the design of GP’s surgeries. David Crease RIBA, MIStructE was its long-time director, having started at the University in 1963 as Research Director within IAAS. The Institute’s research programme had begun by investigating the design of student housing and as the Chief Architect, Crease moved from the post of Research Director at IAAS to become Director of YUDU. YUDU’s architectural philosophy was described as ‘long life, loose fit, low energy; innovative within the vernacular tradition, with an emphasis on the spaces between buildings’. Student accommodation at Eden’s Court, St Lawrence Court, and the staff housing at Bleachfield came out of the IAAS research work and besides also founding and working with local Housing Associations to access funding for building new housing to meet the needs of a growing University, YUDU was also involved in local developments at Holmefield, West Moor Lane and McHugh Court. During its existence YUDU achieved three medals and two commendations for good design in housing, a Civic Trust Award and first prize in the York Parliament Street competition. The flourishing practice was privatised in 1981 by mutual agreement as the demands of the practice and the educational needs of the University became harder to reconcile. The independent firm of Chartered Architects was established in 1982 as Crease Edmonds Strickland Architects, and latterly as Crease Strickland Parkins Limited.

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