Leeds has some mighty fine architects, but their work isn’t always on display at home – we look at the buildings made by our own.
Now, you know we’re big fans of good architecture. We’re always looking up, discovering new and intriguing buildings, then telling you all about them – but today, we’ve done something a little different. You see, Leeds is home to a host of talented architects, and their work is on display far and wide – so we thought we’d show you some of the buildings they’ve masterminded, both at home and further afield.
Barnsley Digital Media Centre
Designed by Leeds architect firm Bauman Lyons, the Barnsley Digital Media Centre is one of the most eye-catching structures in the town. It features three gradient-sized buildings linked by one stretching atrium, giving it a look like no other. It’s designed to create relaxed communal spaces for informal meetings that help the people who work inside to thrive. Finished off with eye-catching features like geometric windows and slanted support columns, it has really helped to change the townscape of Barnsley.
Soundproofed, rubber-clad buildings aren’t exactly the norm, which makes the Sheffield Roundhouse all the more unique. This state-of-the-art building was designed by careyjones chapmantolcher Architects – it’s a music studio built for students at the University of Sheffield, and while it isn’t the biggest or the most imposing building, it’s certainly visually striking. It has efficiently stacked practice spaces across three floors cocooned within a concrete shell that’s decked out in a soundproofing quilt that’s made out of rubber – it’s a memorable building that’s incredibly fit for purpose, showing that design can be both aesthetically pleasing and utterly practical.
Fonab Castle Hotel is an example of the fine work that can be achieved by architects who understand how to sympathetically blend old and the new. Based on the banks of Loch Faskally in Scotland, Fonab Castle is a listed building, but had laid empty for years. Leeds’ Edward Architecture were challenged with turning the 19th century baronial residence into a hotel, which features the castle at its heart, but is now adjoined by a striking timber and glass structure that’s home to a restaurant, bar and function room.
Hull Centre for Digital Innovation
Opening up in December 2015, the Hull Centre for Digital Innovation has transformed the look of the city’s waterfront. Created by Enjoy Design on The Calls, the 18,000 square foot building is a stunning example of modern architecture. It takes inspiration from the seafaring heritage of the town, with a bold, ship-like design that’s embellished with gold panelling and windows that look out across the river. The building itself uses sustainable and environmental friendly practices that have future proofed it for future generations.
Creating environmentally-friendly buildings is more important than ever and thanks to West and Machell Architects, Leeds has one of the best. Greenhouse is a pioneering residential and office development. It saw an old art deco hostel refurbished and built on, with a series of impressive new builds that have made it one of the most desirable places to live and work in Leeds. It harvests and recycles its water, as well as using ground source heating and wind turbine power – the end result is that is that it cuts energy usage, protects the environment and saves its residents money.
Leeds Station Entrance
The new train station entrance is certainly a looker, and its design has really got people talking, but it’s also a massive architectural achievement, because Bauman Lyons has the tricky tasty of designing a structure that actually sits above the river. The dramatic glass and metal entrance slots into the old Victorian arches, providing the city’s commuters with a brand new access point, while minimising the impact on nearby apartments and amenities – pleasing everyone is no mean feat, but the capsule-like entrance just about does it.
The Beacon Centre
It’s not often that schools get an architectural nod, but DLA Design have put The Beacon Centre on the map. It’s the most eye-catching in a series of changes at Blackburn College, and looks as though two buildings have been artfully entwined together. A truly modern development that blends forward-thinking design work with an understanding of how important different spaces are in education, it’s given Blackburn College a new library, as well as social, administrative and teaching spaces, but more importantly, it’s created a hub the whole institution can be proud of.