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Durham Students' Union is the students' union of Durham University in Durham, England. It is an organisation, originally set up as the Durham Colleges Students’ Representative Council in 1899 and renamed in 1969, with the intention of representing and providing welfare and services for the students of the University of Durham.LocationThe Students' Union occupies and manages Dunelm House, a university-owned building in the centre of Durham where a wide variety of student activities take place. Designed by Architects Co-Partnership, the Brutalist, angular concrete building was completed in 1965 under the supervision of architect Sir Ove Arup, whose Kingsgate Bridge, adjacent, opened two years earlier. Built into the steeply sloping bank of the River Wear, Dunelm House is notable internally for the fact that the main staircase linking all five levels of the building runs in an entirely straight line. This was intended by the building's architects to create the feeling of an interior street.In 1968 Dunelm House won a Civic Trust award, though the architecture of Dunelm House is not generally well liked in the city. On the other hand, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the noted architecture historian, considered the building, "Brutalist by tradition but not brutal to the landscape... the elements, though bold, sensitively composed." Durham City Council's Local Plan notes that the "powerful" building, together with Kingsgate Bridge, "provides an exhilarating pedestrian route... out into open space over the river gorge".
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