Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, London
Broadcasting Place represents a sophisticated maturation of the consciousness that tall buildings should be deeply rooted in their location and context, one which set a precedent, particularly for heritage cities with relatively few tall buildings. A bold addition to the Leeds cityscape, Broadcasting Place forms a prominent marker at one of Leeds’ gateways. This new academic complex for Leeds Metropolitan University overcame difficult site challenges with a master plan that manages an inner-city motorway passing alongside while also enabling future growth. The site itself encompasses a rich history as the location of Old Broadcasting House, the old BBC TV Studios, and the place where the first moving picture was developed by Louis Le Prince in the late 19th century. It sets the ideal stage for an educational building dedicated to Leeds Met’s Faculty of Arts and Society.
The master plan worked within the framework of the “Renaissance Leeds” documents, which defined a “city rim,” along which physical and social connectivity were paramount in reintegrating the city center with its inner-city surroundings. The building concept attempts a fusion between the geological, the sculptural and the cinematic, to create a building that is firmly rooted in its city context. The building creates two rising forms that snake around the perimeter of the site, responding to existing building heights, culminating in a tower “head” at the south side of the site. Its unusual shape derives from its conception as a collection of solid landscape forms that draw on Yorkshire’s rich geological and sculptural heritage.