BBC, Leeds

Architect: DLA Architecture
Fabricator: Norking Aluminium
Award: People’s Award, Leeds Architecture Awards.
Products: Trame Horizontale and grid curtain walling, FXi52 balcony door

A new landmark, multi-purpose arts complex is set to become a flagship for Leeds’ growing cultural quarter. The award-winning scheme, which incorporates a dramatic three-storey curved atrium created from Technal’s Trame curtain walling, provides the new headquarters of BBC Yorkshire and a facility for Leeds College of Music.

Described by the Leeds Civic Trust as ‘a distinctive piece of 21st century architecture’, the £7m, 50,000 sqft music, TV and radio centre is constructed from a palette of contemporary materials. The design features a dark blue rendered central wall, which cuts through the centre of the building and forms a backdrop to the spectacular glazed atrium.

The atrium space adds depth to the main elevation and allows views from the offices above, over St Peter’s Square towards the centre of Leeds. It is enclosed in Technal’s Trame Horizontale curtain walling that was facetted on plan to follow the slope of the site. The transparency of the glazed façade is enhanced by imaginative lighting, which changes the appearance of this dynamic building at night.

The Trame curtain walling uses an aerofoil profile to highlight the horizontal glazing elements across the façade. The high proportion of glazing on the building maximises the amount of natural light entering the centre, which is situated in close proximity to other buildings. Grid curtain walling was specified as ribbon glazing for the other elevations.