Tackling the decline in the high street

Tackling the decline in the high street

Bowman Riley hosted a workshop in our Leeds office this week as part of National Apprenticeship Week with second-year BA Architecture students at Leeds Beckett University with the Leeds Chamber of Commerce Property Forum ‘Quality Places and Spaces’ (QPS) group, set up to champion a better built environment in the city.

The workshop followed last year’s successful design challenge posed to students to prepare proposals to improve under-used areas around Leeds city centre, including around the iconic Corn Exchange.

Led by Colin Briggs and Dan Postill, the workshop involved an introduction to the Chamber and the QPS group, which includes members of Leeds City Council, Leeds BID, Leeds Civic Society, developers and other property professionals.  This was followed by a reflective review of the project undertaken in the 2018/19 academic year.  An introduction to the students’ new site for this year was explained with a design brief tackling the decline in the retail industry, specifically the high street.

The QPS group shared insight on the historical context of the site, the client and previous iterations of masterplans.  Dan Postill discussed masterplanning techniques.  We then split into two groups to develop exciting proposals to fill a niche in the Leeds offering that currently doesn’t exist.

Our team will be attending tutorials and critiques over the coming weeks with a view that the students’ ideas and proposals can be presented back to the wider QPS group later in the year.

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