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Sited within the northern Arena Quarter of Leeds city centre and near to the city’s universities, this student residential-led scheme forms part of the growing cluster of tall buildings found in the area. Offering world-class student accommodation, a total of 660 bed spaces are provided across a mix of self-contained studios and 5-bed cluster apartments with generous communal living spaces. Students will have access to extensive on-site amenities including a fitness studio, games room, multimedia and cinema rooms, laundry facilities and numerous lounges and study spaces, some of which open out onto private rooftop gardens.

The building is composed of a street scale podium building designed to repair the street edge and step in height to respond to the scale of adjacent buildings. A 32-storey tower sits above, positioned away from neighbouring buildings which has been sculpted to present the same proportions as the spire of St. John’s Church which can be found opposite the site.

At ground level the site has been reconfigured to increase accessibility and permeability. A new pedestrian route is provided in the form of an arcade through the heart of the scheme which links a collection of retail and cultural spaces and establishes a central hub for shared activity between residents and the public. Externally, new landscaped terraces to the rear of the site and improvements to the public realm along Merrion Street make for a safe and welcoming environment with the aim of regenerating the streetscape for all to enjoy.

The elevational treatments of the podium and tower are intentionally contrasting, with a red brick cladding to the street building and a glass-faced façade to the tower. The podium materiality takes reference from the material and tonal palette of the historic buildings along New Briggate nearby and features glazed ceramic detailing which is inspired by local Burmantofts pottery. The tower comprises insulated opaque glass panels and clear glazing for a ‘lightweight’ and reflective appearance, which reflects the changing light of the day and seasons in the form’s crystalline facets.

Project information

  • Client

    Merrion Street Ltd

  • Status

    Planning approved

  • Area

    24,758 sqm GIA

  • Start

    April 2019

  • Completion


  • Consultants

    Cost Manager:
    Building Services & Structural Engineers:
    Facade Design & Access Consultants:
    Planning Consultants: Savills
    Visual Imagery:
    Our Studio
    Environmental Impact and Facade Engineers: Ramboll
    Landscape Architect:
    Fire Engineers:
    Ecology Consultants:
    Ecology Solutions
    BREEAM Assesors:

  • Elements

    573 undergraduate bed spaces 87 self-contained postgraduate studiosStudent rooftop amenity space