Original features

November 13, 2008

When Brunel College of Technology was designated a College of Advanced Technology in 1961, it was required to accommodate about 2,000 students.

The impossibility of achieving this on its west London site in Acton led to plans to build a new campus - in a neglected field in Uxbridge, Middlesex, littered with the remains of greenhouses from a former nursery.

In the decade it took to complete the move, the college took on yet another new identity - Brunel University.

As part of Brunel's commitment to encourage mixing between different disciplines, restaurants, bars and common rooms were concentrated in a communal building and a single lecture centre was built at the heart of the campus. It was this that featured prominently in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange (1971). A celebrated shot, from exactly the angle pictured here, shows antihero Alex (Malcolm McDowell) being escorted by prison warders to the Ludovico Medical Facility for aversion therapy.

Those who witnessed the filming remember the building echoing with McDowell's screams as the famously perfectionist Kubrick demanded take after take. He also stationed someone on the ground floor to make sure women removed their noisy high heels before walking on the stone tiles.

Send suggestions for this architectural series to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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