The most inspiring Leeds architecture and buildings

Friday, July 2, 2021

 Leeds skyline

Leeds is our home city and happens to be home to some incredible buildings. Leeds architecture is a glorious blend of old and new, the ugly, the elegant and the outstanding. A walk around the city centre reveals exquisitely preserved historic landmarks and period buildings alongside stunning contemporary designs.

 

The city centre is relatively compact, with the majority of its 2 million residents living in the suburbs and surrounding areas. Leeds is a Northern economic and cultural hub, with hundreds of thousands of people working, visiting, and spending time in the centre every day.

 

Here’s what Leeds architecture has to offer:

 

 

 

Broadcasting Tower

The tower is on Broadcasting Place is part of Leeds Beckett University. It was designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley, and houses the Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology. The building is clad in COR-TEN weathering steel, giving it a signature rusty orange finish. Set against a clear blue sky, the tower is a spectacle to behold.

 

 Leeds Victoria Gate

 

Victoria Gate

The development was completed in 2016 as part of the restoration of the historic shopping district around Vicar Lane and the Victoria Quarter. Spanning 53,400m2, it’s the largest premium retail and leisure venue in Northern England and houses a flagship John Lewis along with over 30 other stores.

 

The project was designed by ACME alongside commercial property developer Hammerson and won the Best Shopping Centre at the prestigious MIPIM awards at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, beating off competition from Japan, Hong Kong, and China. Kemps designed a series of bespoke uplighters for the building which you can see here.

 

The Laidlaw Library 

The Laidlaw is a University of Leeds library opened in 2015. The library won a RIBA architecture award, as one of six outstanding buildings announced at the prestigious RIBA Yorkshire awards.

 

Leeds Kirkgate Markets

One of the largest indoor markets in Europe, Kirkgate markets are a Leeds treasure. The buildings were completed in 1981 and have been carefully preserved. They have stayed operational and house traders and stalls 6 days a week, plus an indoor food market. In 1884, Kirkgate Market was the founding location of Marks & Spencer.

 

 ICEPS-5

 

The Sir William Henry Bragg Building

The most recent new addition to the University of Leeds campus, the integrated campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences was opened in Spring 2021. The building spans 15,700m2 and houses the faculties of Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Computing, along with teaching and social interaction spaces.

 

We supported BAM Construction in delivering a series of concept luminaires as part of the lighting scheme for this building, designed by Arup. See the lighting installation here.

 

 

The Parkinson Building

The Parkinson Building is a grade II listed art deco building named after a major benefactor to the university, Frank Parkinson. A prominent Leeds landmark, the tower stands at 187 ft tall and can be seen for miles around.

 

 Leeds Town Hall

 

The Town Hall

Leeds Town Hall is a 19th century municipal building that was made a Grade I listed building in 1951. It’s the location for everything from marriages and ceremonies to concerts and festivals. See the 1960s chandeliers we restored as part of refurbishments at the Leeds Town Hall back in 2019.

 

 

The Civic Hall 

Built in the 1930s, the Civic Hall replaced Leeds Town Hall as the administrative centre in 1933. It is a Grade II listed building which includes the council chamber, council offices, and a large hall.

 

 Leeds Corn Exchange

 

The Corn Exchange

A grade I listed building, the Corn Exchange was built in 1863 and was designed by Cuthbert Brodrick, the architect behind Leeds Town Hall. The building is now a boutique shopping centre home to independent retailers and food outlets.

 

 

Leeds Playhouse

The West Yorkshire Playhouse building had long been considered an eyesore. In 2016, Page Park Architects were appointed to transform the building into Leeds Playhouse. The new design is focused on the facilities, accessibility, and inclusivity, with a bright new façade of ceramics creates to reflect the creativity and diversity within.

 

Roger Stevens Building

The Roger Stevens Building is a Grade II listed Brutalist building, on the University of Leeds campus. It was built in the 1970s and the design came from the architectural practice of Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon, recognised as significant for their work at the Barbican in London.

 

 

Majestic

As central as you can get, sat on City Square, the Majestic started life as a 1920s cinema, before becoming a Bing Hall and nightclub in the late 90s and early 00s. The Grade II listed building has famously burned down – twice – but it has now become the new home of Channel 4’s Northern offices.

 

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Temple Works 

Temple Works is a former flax mill in Holbeck built in the Egyptian Revival style by industrialist, John Marshall, between 1836 and 1840. It is the only Grade I listed building in Holbeck.

 

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The Tetley

The Tetley is a contemporary art gallery in what was the headquarters of the former Tetley Brewery. The art deco building is in central Leeds features a gallery space, function, rooms, a public bar, and carefully preserved rooms from the old Tetley offices.

 

We hope you enjoyed seeing some of our most treasured buildings from our home city. Working on developments across the world, it’s always a joy to be part of projects closer to home. If you have a question or request for our team, get in touch with us on 0113 263 9039 or info@kempslighting.com.

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See the buildings we love in our home city and get a glimpse of the inspiring architecture Leeds has to offer.