New airing for Leeds city centre development

Sian
Friday 26 Feb 2010

Open plan building provides new offices, teaching spaces and student residences

Broadcasting Place is an education & mixed-use development situated on a prominent location on the valley ridge running through Leeds city centre. It provides approximately 110,000 sq ft of new offices and teaching spaces together with 240 student residences in a landmark building rising to 23 storeys. A new Baptist Church completes the scheme on its northern edge.

The buildings are conceived as solid landscape forms which draw on Yorkshire’s rich geological and sculptural heritage. This design intent is reinforced by the selection of cor-ten steel as a solid, sculptural and weathering material, constructed as a rain-screen facade.Broadcasting Place is a bold addition to the Leeds cityscape, forming a prominent marker at one of Leeds’ gateways. This new academic complex for Leeds Metropolitan University overcame difficult site challenges, with a masterplan which manages an inner city motorway passing alongside whilst also enabling future growth. A key success of the scheme is the innovative approach to design of each elevation. The architects developed their own software programme to undertake a rigorous computational analysis of each small section of the building facades. The result is a varied appearance highly specific to this scheme, optimising daylight and reducing solar penetration.

Staff and students have expressed high levels of satisfaction with their new predominantly open-plan building. Sue Holmes, Head of Estates at Leeds Metropolitan University, said of the project: "Creating the space in a flexible way with multi functionally has enabled students and staff from different academic disciplines to experience a greater variety of specialist teaching environments."

Chris Bailey, Dean at the Faculty of Arts & Society, also commented that the building "...provides studios focused on the student experience and social learning spaces, coupled with the latest audio-visual and digital technology in lecture, seminar and public spaces...virtually all of the faculty's protocols and procedures have been analysed, revised and streamlined to enable us to take full advantage of a new location."

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