Leslie Silver Building Refurbishment – Leeds Beckett University
Leeds Beckett University
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Leeds Beckett University city campus originally comprised of a cluster of 1960s buildings on different levels with a main entrance on Calverley Street. The principal footfall was predominantly on Woodhouse Lane but this was the designated service access to the buildings. The University needed a new gateway building on Woodhouse Lane as an infill between the existing buildings to create a unified learning environment.
Bowman Riley Architects designed the refurbishment of the existing buildings and created a landmark new building. We designed an enabling project to refurbish the student union in the basement of one of the existing buildings. This paved the way for the refurbishment of the existing buildings involving the external recladding and full interior refresh in a live environment.
We addressed the issue of the changes on level between the existing buildings and new infill building. We used the changes in level to create an double height glazed entrance and mall on the new build with lifts to access all floors.
The new building was designed to accommodate a library to centralise the University’s library facilities that were fractured across campus. The library is a critical learning resource providing information and learning support facilities 24/7 throughout the year.
We held workshops with library staff, academics and students to examine the methods used to store and access library items. We explored the way the students learned individually and in groups and the interfaces with IT. These workshops helped shape our design to meet the aspirations of the users.
We created a legible series of spaces and routes that facilitated orientation and enabled diverse user groups to easily navigate through the building complex. A state-of-the-art learning environment was created across five floors making provision for modern learning methods and advancements in IT.