Wapping School, Bradford

Derelict school to be demolished in Bradford:

https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=P6M1QDDHLDY00&activeTab=summary

Photo: Telegraph and Argus

Although grade II listed, this 1877 building is in ruin and will be demolished to make way for a new college. At this stage it is understandable that the building is beyond salvage, and having become a node for antisocial behaviour, will be cleared. The developer (LIFE Church) has made attempts to salvage some of the stone work and one of the gable ends of the building, but in reality the essence of the Victorian School will be gone.

The building should have never been allowed to fall into this state, and we need to look for innovative solutions for the reuse of our more nuanced Victorian heritage assets. Schools, mills, churches, and pubs are all problematic in re-purposing, yet there are heritage champions out there that need to be facilitated by local authorities to invest and develop such buildings.

The massing promises to reflect the existing building, but this will only result in a pastiche development. This development being an educational facility I imagine a process of value engineering will negate any attempts to be sensitive with building materials. There is no way around it – this is another beautiful Victorian school lost to history.

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