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Rethinking City Centre Living – The New Community in the Heart of Holbeck Urban Village

· Ali Turner · Living

City centre homes, made to last.

Ironworks Building

PfP igloo brings together two of the UK’s leading placemaking names. PfP Capital is a fund and asset management business that’s part of the Places for People group. igloo is a sustainable developer that creates award-winning schemes carefully designed to perform for people, place and planet. Find out more…

Amidst the mills and the warehouses, a new sustainable development is making its mark on Holbeck…

City centre living is the ultimate convenience. A short walk to work, with all the shops, bars and restaurants on your doorstep, it’s a lifestyle you’ll never want to give up – and now you don’t have to because you can buy a home at The Ironworks, the latest development from PfP igloo. It’s not just apartments, you can get townhouses and penthouses too, complete with your own private terrace or balcony, giving you all the luxuries of the suburbs in the city centre.

Building a community in the heart of the city

Holbeck Urban Village is a thriving hub of creativity – and no one knows that better than PfP igloo. They’re the company responsible for three of the area’s most successful regeneration projects – The Round Foundry, Marshall’s Mill and Marshall’s Court. Their success was a catalyst for growth, helping to breathe new life into what was once the cradle of industry in Leeds. It also helped to create the vibrant community we see today.

Alongside creative and digital businesses, The Round Foundry complex is home to a host of independent bars, cafés, pubs and restaurants, creating a place where colleagues can mingle over a coffee or a pint. It’s perfectly placed for commuting, with the southern entrance to the train station just a 5 minute walk and the rest of the city centre a mere hop, skip and a jump away. Which is why, nine years after they first invested in the area, PfP igloo is back with a new development.

The Ironworks is the missing piece of the puzzle, a new residential development that will bring 68 new homes to the area. It’s made up of apartments, penthouses, and most excitingly, townhouses, so you can live the way you want, without leaving the city. And because PfP igloo understands how important community is, they have very strict rules on who can and can’t buy a property here. They’re only selling to owner-occupiers, no investors, no buy-to-lets – they want people to make a home here.

True sustainability, built to last

The Ironworks has 51 modern apartments, two luxurious penthouses and 15 spacious townhouses, all built to the same impeccable standards. From the floors (engineered oak, plush carpet and porcelain tiles) to the fully fitted Pronorm kitchens (complete with Bosch fridge-freezer, integrated dishwasher and stainless steel electric oven), every fixture, fitting and appliance is the very best quality, right down to the door handles.

This commitment to quality is part of something much bigger, a sustainable approach that runs from the construction to the decor. This is a development that’s built to last. A lot of time, thought and expense has gone into delivering it. They’ve used the best materials, sourced locally wherever possible to reduce their carbon footprint, and given the build the same care and attention that you’d apply to your own home.

And of course, the building itself is designed to be sustainable. They’ve taken a fabric-first approach to reduce energy consumption. Two lift shafts allow them to maximise the number of dual aspect apartments, letting in more light and reducing energy usage. Meanwhile, super-high insulation keeps heat in and solar PV tiles on the roofs of the town and penthouses are used to power the communal areas, including the lights, lifts and heating.

Thoughtful design that makes life better

One of the things that makes PfP igloo different is the design. They take a holistic approach that goes beyond the usual box-ticking and drills down into the nitty-gritty of what’s going to make your life easier. It’s an attention to detail that you simply won’t find in most major developments – they’ve thought through every aspect of the design and layout, putting themselves in the owners’ shoes to optimise the space.

“We look at each home and think, ‘How would I live here? What are the problems that would face me? Can I get out onto the balcony with a glass of wine without tripping over a step? Will the door block my view to the TV if it’s open?’ We’ve thought through every little thing, from plug sockets to how you get your stuff in on moving day, because that’s what we do – we make houses that you can live in,” Honor Massarella, Development Director at PfP igloo, explained.

This attention to detail has shaped the entire design of the building. Space is often sold at a premium in the city centre, but PfP igloo has turned that idea on its head. Their homes are 35% larger than the minimum space requirement for Leeds and they’ve made room for the essentials that often get forgotten – expect spacious living areas, oodles of storage space and a private balcony or terrace big enough to really enjoy.

Modern architecture, inspired by the mills of old

Holbeck was once a powerhouse of production. The mills and warehouses that line its streets are a lasting reminder of the role we played in the industrial revolution, and it was here, that architect Nick Brown found the inspiration for The Ironworks, which has already won the 2019 Housing Design Awards. It’s a distinctly modern building, but it blends in perfectly with its neighbours thanks to a sympathetic design that takes on different aspects of its surroundings.

“The architecture was very much born out of the historic context – Marshall Mill, Temple Works, Tower Works, these great industrial complexes. We saw it as a typical industrial complex of a mill building combined with a low-lying workshop, so our apartment building becomes the mill and the townhouses are the scale of the workshop, so in very simple form, the building has the feel of an old industrial complex,” Nick explained.

But that’s not the only similarity. The exteriors have been constructed with red brick, reflecting the industrial heritage of the area, and the exposed lift shafts, which evoke memories of industrial chimneys, are covered in the same Corten Steel as Broadcasting Place, so they’ll take on a weathered look over time. Above it all, sawtooth roofs, reminiscent of the factories of old, add striking character, both inside and out.

Find out more and make your move


The Ironworks has 51 one and two-bed apartments, two three-bed penthouses and 15 two and three-bed townhouses – and a limited number are on sale now. Prices start at £155,000 for a one-bed apartment and £237,500 for a two-bed apartment. Got a hankering for a townhouse? They start at £350,000 for two bedrooms or £475,000 for three. They’re already incredibly popular, so if you want to settle down here, you’ll have to be quick.