Broadcasting Place / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

© Cloud9Photography

Architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Location: Leeds, England
Client: Downing and Leeds Metropolitan University
Budget: £50 million
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: , Cloud9Photography & Sapa: Architectural Aluminium Solutions

Broadcasting Place is a mixed use development close to Leeds city centre.

Conceived as a public/private partnership for property group Downing and Leeds Metropolitan University, it provides approximately 110,000 square feet of new offices and teaching spaces together with 240 student residences in a landmark building rising to 23 storeys. A new Baptist Church completes the scheme on its northern edge.

site plan

The buildings are conceived as solid landscape forms which draw on Yorkshire’s rich geological and sculptural heritage. The lower buildings rise as a continuous rake from 3 storeys, adjacent to low rise listed buildings, up to 5 storeys. The taller buildings drop from 8 storeys down to 6 before rising to the scheme’s highest point of 23 storeys. The strong roof pitch is reflected in the massing of the buildings which have sharp triangular corners and angular cantilevered projections. Through this massive form, windows were conceived as the flow of water cascading through a rock formation. This design intent is reinforced by the selection of cor-ten as a solid, sculptural and weathering material, constructed as a rain-screen façade.

© Sapa: Architectural Aluminium Solutions

The development overcame difficult site challenges with a masterplan which manages an inner city motorway passing alongside whilst also enabling future growth. This is a key central Leeds location and a new public space linking key urban spaces forms a significant landscape element in the scheme.

A key success of the scheme is the innovative approach to the design of each elevation. We developed our own software programme to undertake a rigorous computational analysis of each small section of the building facades. The result is a varied appearance highly specific to this scheme, optimising daylight and reducing solar penetration.

elevation 01
elevation 02
© Sapa: Architectural Aluminium Solutions

Bold and beautiful, the building has made a big and positive impact on this area of central Leeds. What isn’t so immediately obvious is the innovation and research that went into its environmental strategy and the benefits this will bring over the coming years.

Paul Houghton, Director of Development, Downing


Broadcasting Place has already been described as the most notable addition to the Leeds skyline in decades…..As its oxidising surface weathers to a deep red colour – as the Angel of the North now has after ten years – its other virtues will become apparent: the environmental excellence of the design, the quality of its internal spaces, and the contribution it makes to Leeds as a walkable city.

Professor Chris Bailey, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Society

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Broadcasting Place / Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios" 26 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      i’m impressed… of this building

      “Canyon like…” – nice!
      My association is – ziggurat!

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Love the contrast with the old builgings !… and the “canyon” style !… About the interior… hum… well… too bad… you don’t need to show it.

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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think it’s too much of the same thing, rust is a strong colour and texture to be used on such scale to such an extent. It has an oppressive effect on me.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “A new Baptist Church completes the scheme on its northern edge”

    this chapel is one of the most interesting features of the building! why are there no pictures?!

    anyway, great, iconic building… a good home for the Leeds Met school of the built environment

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Nice site plan–despite its size and the way it dominates its block, it seems to fit paths into the overall context

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think the section could be further developed, there seems to be little happening in it, and I don’t know of the plans either.

    What I do think is great is the architectural body as an element in this landscape. Too often, one tries to create mellow buildings that “talk” to the context.

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    The site plan is nicer than the buildings themselves. i assume the tower is massed to address the intersection of highways, but that isn’t mentioned. i wish architects could talk about their buildings without crap analogies about “geology” and waterfalls. You’re making a goddamn building! You composed the windows!

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    I was there today (to see the arch dept show). The building is really nice, probably the best modern building in leeds (which has its share of ugly hi-rises, more every day…)

    The cor-ten is dominating but I think it works within the context of the old yorkshire sandstone buildings. The interior, however, is uninspiring. There is cold lime green paint and plastic clad lowered ceilings. the spaces are isolated ready for use as offices (the uni has a 25 year loan) which means the floor to floor transitions are uncelebrated. the shape-making means that there are plenty of odd spaces and at least one ceiling (6th floor in landscape/architecture dept) where I can’t stand up at one end – my head touches it!
    overall it is a really strong design (morphosis like?), but works best from the outside.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I read about this in the newspaper a few weeks ago. Apparantly all that rust creates big orange puddles on the path around it whenever it rains, that dry and leave rusty marks everywhere. It’s not all that popular with the public from what I read. That said, I haven’t been there to see it, and we all know what newspapers can be like.

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      i’m an architectural student at the building, we are all big fans of the rust outline!… it tells a story of the buildings strong cantilevers and its form… pictures on here do not do it justice.

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