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Leeds School of Arts

Fostering creativity, collaboration, and culture

wide shot of the Leeds Beckett University School of Art, at dusk

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.

Man working in a green-screen studio at Leeds Beckett University School of Art

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.

Man pressing a button to enter the lift at Leeds Beckett University School of Art building
Man walking down blue stairs at the Leeds Beckett University School of

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.

Two men walking into the lower ground entrance at the Leeds Beckett University School of Art

Project details

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

Status: Complete

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

If you want to know more about our work in Northern England, contact Katie Tonkinson

If you want to know more about our education and research work, contact Negar Mihanyar