Office / Architect
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios / Peter Clegg, Alex Whitbread
Richard Ainsworth - Ridge & Partners, Simon Cook - HE Simms, Derek Glashan - Robert Myers Associates, Paul Houghton - Downing, Lee Jackson - KGA Trintiy Chamber, Harry Montresor - Montresor Partnership, Ian Orton - George Dowing Construction, Nikki Sills - Matthew & Goodman, Heather Stanley - Halcrow Yolles
Leeds / United Kingdom
Mixed use
Client: Downing for Leeds Metropolitan University
Overall development costs: approx £50 million
Completion: September 2009
Gross internal floor area: Block A 5713m2, Block B 5724m2, Block C 6486m2
Total internal area = 17,723m2
Site Size: 0.93 HA

Broadcasting Place is a mixed use development close to Leeds city centre UK. Conceived as a public/private partnership for property group Downing and Leeds Metropolitan University, it provides approximately 110,000 ftm2 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.

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. The site itself encompasses a rich history as the location of Old Broadcasting House, the old BBC TV Studios, and the place where the first moving picture was developed in the late 19th century.

The masterplan worked within the framework of the Renaissance Leeds documents produced by the Civic Architect John Thorp and Koetter Kim Associates of Boston. This defined a “city rim” where physical and social connectivity were paramount in reintegrating the city centre with its inner city surroundings. The building concept attempts a fusion between the geological, the sculptural and the cinematic to create a building that is firmly rooted in its city context. 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. The building creates two rising forms that snake around the perimeter of the site, responding to existing building heights, culminating in a tower “head” at the south side of the site. This tower marks the south end of the site with a dramatic formed gable end that faces towards the city.

A key element in the design of the buildings is the irregular elevations which have been tailored to optimise daylight and reduce solar penetration. The proportions of the glazed façade have been derived using our own software. The team on Broadcasting Place undertook an innovative analysis of the building facades, to calculate the optimum quantity and distribution of glazing/shading at all points on the façade in order to ensure high levels of natural daylighting but without overheating. The research study was published in 2008 in “Spacecraft” by David Littlefield, published by RIBA Enterprises and in the Architects’ Journal.

Our environmental approach combined:

- Façade design to optimize cooling load and energy use through a rigorous research project involving 3D computer simulation of all facades
- Plan forms which optimize natural daylight
- Natural ventilation where practicable in location bounded by motorway
- Ground source heat pump – exceeding target figure
- A car-free development with bike parking provision
- Adaptability to ensure a long lifespan

Overall the scheme has been awarded a BREEAM “Very Good” rating.
View looking up external fenestration ©Will Pryce
View looking up the student accomodation tower ©Will Pryce
View of Broadcasting Place and student tower ©Will Pryce
View from Woodhouse Lane looking North ©Will Pryce
y ©y
View looking North ©Will Pryce
Elevation ©FCBS
Plan ©FCBS