Leeds School of Arts
Fostering creativity, collaboration, and culture
A state-of-the-art creative hub for Leeds Beckett University, uniting more than 2,500 students and staff from the departments of film, music, performing arts and creative technologies on a compact city-centre site.
Our big idea for the new building was to think of the city of Leeds as a theatre, with the spaces within our building as a stage set. Our design provides flexible, robust spaces that can be endlessly reconfigured and repurposed to suit the changing needs of creatives and performers.
Recording studios with mixing facilities, foley studios, a green-screen studio, acoustic labs, stop-motion studio and post-production studios are all packed together in a unique hub of interconnected technical spaces that allows students to collaborate and create across specialisms.
I know that this building will facilitate some extraordinary creative practice and provide us with a platform to showcase this nationally and internationally. We want to celebrate the importance of an arts education and look forward to sharing the building and it’s state of the art facilities with our local community and region.
Along with the technical and performance spaces, the building has a variety of incidental ‘in between’ places where students can get together to practice or exhibit, creating opportunities for accidental performances to happen; giving students the freedom to grow their art in a space that invites imaginative thinking.
The ‘box in a box’ construction at the heart of the building sits half above and half below ground level. Huge picture windows showcase the activity within and invite interaction between students and the passing public.
Project name: Leeds School of Arts
Location: Leeds, UK
Service: Briefing and estates optimisation
Value: £50M – £100M
Scope: Architecture, Interior design
Clients: Leeds Beckett University, Downing Property Services
Completion date: 2021
Accreditation: BREEAM Excellent
Structural and civil engineer: Alan Johnston Partnership
Services design: WSP
Landscape architect: Gillespies
Auditoria design: Charcoalblue
Acoustic engineer: AEC Ltd
Fire engineer: Omega Fire
Quantity surveyor: Sum Ltd
BREEAM: Hoare Lea
Photography: Adrian Lambert, Simon Kennedy
Video: James Briefel