Broadcasting Place
Broadcasting Place is a mixed use development close to Leeds city centre. Conceived as a public/private partnership for property group Downing and Leeds Metropolitan University, it provides academic space and student residences in a landmark building rising to 23 storeys, together with a new Baptist Church. The brief for the project was developed as a combination of three primary uses on the site – academic accommodation providing facilities for 250 staff and 1500 students, 240 student residential units and a new Baptist Church. The overall development costs were approximately £50 million. The scheme provides 110,000 sq ft of teaching and office space.for the Department for Cultural Studies, the Department for Social Science, the Department for Architecture, Landscape and Design and the Contemporary Arts and Graphics Department, representing approximately Broadcasting Place consists of two main structures that wrap around the existing buildings and scale up towards the north eastern edge of the site The buildings are conceived as solid landscape forms which draw on Yorkshire’s rich geological and sculptural heritage. The lower buildings rise as a continuous rake from 3 storeys, adjacent to low rise listed buildings, up to 5 storeys. The taller buildings drop from 8 storeys down to 6 before rising to the scheme’s highest point of 23 storeys, housing the student accommodation. The strong roof pitch is reflected in the massing of the buildings which have sharp triangular corners and angular cantilevered projections. Through this massive form, windows were conceived as the flow of water cascading through a rock formation. 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 cor-ten panels have oxidised down to a rich orange/brown colour over a period of about 3 months. The curtain walling/window system has been designed based on a series of repeated modules set back from the steel face. The dark grey colour of the glass and frames further emphasises the eroded, cascading forms of the steel panels. 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. Our architect team 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 computational analysis was done using Excel, a VBA program and a stand alone programme to analyse the compiled renderings. The research study has subsequently been published in the UK architectural press. A sustainable approach has been a key parameter in the design of the scheme, demonstrated by six key design decisions: • high flexibility to allow for a variety of uses and adaptable enough to ensure could the building can be used effectively over a long lifespan • plan forms designed to optimise the use of natural daylight and avoid deep-plan office floorplates • a sophisticated response to glazing following a detailed analysis of the amount of daylight and solar radiation received by each part of the elevation • installation of a ground source heat pump to produce at least 10% of the university’s energy use - early tests indicate that we have exceeded the original target figure • mechanical ventilation backed up by openable windows – the building is surrounded by heavy traffic producing a substantial volume of noise and some pollution, so its ventilation system has to be designed as a closed envelope • designed as a ‘car free’ development with generous short and long term sheltered cycle storage Awards 2010 RIBA Award 2010 CTBUH Award: Best New Building in Europe 2010 Yorkshire Property Awards: Best Commercial Development 2010 Building Awards: Building of the Year Award: Shortlisted 2009 Leeds Architecture Awards: Best New Building


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  • Pete Frank
    Pete Frank commented
    European Tall Building of the Year 2010. A step in the right direction for Leeds although I fear they will take many backwards before another building like this goes up.
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