Eye sore, landmark, home. Call it what you want but Towers is undeniably iconic. Built in 1965 and designed by Gollins Melvin Ward Architects, this accommodation hall has been standing for 59 years. So could it seriously be torn down before celebrating its 60th birthday? Recent rumours that have been spreading around campus seem to suggest so, but is any of it true?

Thousands of students have made lifelong friends and memories in this pretty unique building. Despite getting a notably bad rep due to its debatably dull exterior, Towers appears to have more to offer than what meets the eye. With this East Park accommodation reaching 64 metres in height, not only is it part of Loughborough’s skyline, but it also has the capacity to house 310 students.

In discussions with Hall Chair of Tower’s committee, Emelie Fernandez admitted to not being given much information about the future of the Hall that she has lived in for two years. Despite still being able to apply to be a resident next year as well as next year’s committee already being selected, Fernandez believes that “the rumours have affected people wanting to come back” and will lead to a significantly lower return rate compared to previous years.

She continued by saying that in contrast to the many positives of the hall for example its “individuality, strong social community and prime location on campus” the “building is feeling it’s age”. This is has been seen by students, who in the last year have had filters fitted to all taps (including shower heads) and experienced constant issues with the hall’s lifts, which regularly break down and trap unlucky students inside. Not to mention the surprise present of dead flies on windowsills that welcomed freshers and returners as they came to Towers in September after the fumigation that took place through summer.

It is clear that the facility management team are trying their hardest to keep up with the demands of the aging building as bedrooms were refurbished in 2010, which was followed on by a new common room and dining hall in 2016. However, with the list of problems seeming to outweigh its advantages, is Towers at risk of becoming a distant memory in the university’s history?

When asked about their experience in Towers, freshers Izzy James and Katie Newsam confessed that Towers “was not their first choice”. However, after arriving they were pleasantly surprised with the building and the community as they “immediately felt welcomed” and the “rooms were a lot bigger and nicer” than they had first expected. Furthermore, they were happy with the hall’s “big social element”, which they believe to be due to it being catered, as “you become close to people quickly when eating all together.”

Both first year and second year students living in the hall, communicated that they would be “sad to see it go as it has been a big part of their university experience”. They see it as a “home, a refuge, a place to hang out with friends” and even as “a guide back from town after a night out”. 

This accommodation is a locally listed building and became so in 2004 due to its unique architectural design and significance to Loughborough’s history. This means that it’s not as simple as getting a bulldozer and knocking the old girl down. No, it means that tearing down Towers might prove to be a longer and harder process than that what people expect. Especially when Loughborough locals, staff, present students and previous graduates are imploring for Towers to remain high and mighty. Towers appears to be safe for another year but that doesn’t mean the daunting prospect of demolition isn’t still hanging over the hall. So whether you’ve lived in Towers or regard it as a visual monstrosity that sticks out like a sore thumb, it is fair say to that the loss of this local landmark is a very real possibility that could leave a big hole in the heart of the university.  


Comments are closed.