College Court

University of Leicester

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Project Value:






Grade II listed


123 room hotel

RIBA Award 2014

AJ Retrofit Award 2014

Civic Trust Regional Finalist

RIBA East Midlands Building of the Year 2014

RIBA East Midlands Award 2014

RIBA East Midlands Conservation Award 2014


Breathing new life

The University of Leicester’s Grade II listed College Hall student residences had sat vacant for ten years before we were appointed to transform them into a 21st century conference centre. Situated a mile from the University Campus, the newly renamed College Court was originally designed by Leslie Martin and Trevor Dannatt in the 1960’s, a precursor to their Harvey Court Scheme in Cambridge. Extensive discussions with the conservation department, Local Authority and Trevor Dannatt ensured that our refurbishment was respectful and complemented the surrounding area.

Preserving character

Nestled in a haven of established trees and landscapes gardens the transformed building now offers a flexible, modern conference venue, comprised of; a management suite, seminar rooms, a restaurant and 123 bedroom hotel.

We worked tirelessly to reach a compromise between preserving the original fabric and feel of the building, whilst improving its thermal performance and internal services to deliver an EPC rating of B. We undertook careful repair work to the iconic exposed brickwork that defines the site. Many year’s worth of applied decoration were removed to reveal original timber finishes. This placed a renewed emphasis on the style of Martin and Dannatt’s initial design. We re-insulated the roof and included new plant screening to further help harmonise the building with its surroundings.

Enhanced civic value

Since its completion College Court has received numerous awards, commending it on its design, commitment to conservation and enhanced civic value. The awards show that our detailed and extensive approach to retrofitting the Grade II listed building was the correct way to develop a functional yet sensitive scheme. Now College Court is the leading events destination in the city, catering to a wide variety of events, from conferences and workshops, to weddings and dinners.


College Court is a wonderful example of a listed building carefully transformed for a new use. Thoughtful and sensitive interventions ensure the elegance and charm of the ensemble continue in its new life


RIBA Judges 2014

College Court, University of Leicester