Winners of Leeds Architecture Awards 2013 announced

Winners of the 2013 Leeds Architecture Awards were announced last night as the prestigious awards celebrated their 25th Anniversary.

Six winners were announced on the night, with the first direct Arena winning the ‘Best New Building’ and the Victoria Quarter receiving a special award for the outstanding contribution it has made to the city’s architecture over the last 25 years.

Held at Leeds Town Hall, 19 schemes were vying for top awards in the categories of best conserved building, altered building, landscape and public realm, new building, and the two special categories of the Young People’s award and outstanding contribution.

The winners were:

-Best New Building, sponsored by Muse – first direct Arena, Claypit Lane

Best Altered Building, sponsored by Citu – Tower Works, Globe Road

Best Conserved Building, sponsored by Leeds College of Building – The Granary, Crag House Farm, Crag Hill, Cookridge

-Best Landscape and Public Realm, sponsored by Leeds Metropolitan University – University of Leeds Sustainable Garden, University Square

-Young People’s Award, sponsored by Pinnacle Leeds – Trinity Leeds, Briggate / Boar Lane / Albion Street / Commercial Street

- 25th Anniversary Outstanding Contribution, sponsored by Arup - Victoria Quarter, Briggate

The overall winners were decided by a judging panel chaired by guest assessors Martin and Oliver Wainwright.

Martin is the former Northern editor of The Guardian and author of the book ‘Leeds – Shaping the City’, published by RIBA. His son Oliver is The Guardian’s architecture critic.

The judges felt that in the Best New Building category that the first direct Arena, designed by Populous Ltd for Leeds City Council, represented a high performance building for Leeds with some impressive and flexible innovations evident inside.

In the category of Best Altered Building, which focused on a new use for an existing building, Tower Works, designed by Bauman Lyons Architects Ltd for the Homes & Communities Agency, demonstrated very careful creative conservation of a historic and significant building.

The Best Conserved Building was The Granary, a 16th Century Grade II listed aisled barn at Crag House Farm, with Townscape Architects for Caring for Life. As a restoration the judges praised a “very fine piece of restoration which deserves top marks for conservation.”

And, in Landscape and Public Realm, the University of Leeds Sustainable Garden, designed by Martin Wooley for the University of Leeds and the Leeds University Union, was felt to have delivered an innovative, diverse and experimental piece of design.

The two special awards on the night were both firsts. The Outstanding Contribution award for the building which has contributed most to the city over the 25 years of the awards went to The Victoria Quarter, designed by Derek Latham of Latham Architects, for the 20th century reinvention of the arcade and the transformational contribution to the regeneration of the city centre.

The Young People’s Award was presented to Trinity Leeds, designed by Chapman Taylor, as part of the ‘Child friendly Leeds’ initiative, which aims to make Leeds a place where children are valued, supported, enjoy growing up and can look forward to a bright future.

A panel of 10 young people met for four months to discuss and shortlist schemes through a series of structured debates and spot-voting.

The shortlist and overall winner was based on a criteria they developed themselves, which included areas such as aesthetics, enhancement of the area and whether they are proud of this building being in Leeds.

A special mention on the night was also given to the lighting of Kenneth Hodgson House, Park Row, designed by Mantec Ltd for LCC Restorations and Westcourt Management Ltd.

Organised by Leeds City Council and Leeds Chamber Property Forum, the Leeds Architecture Awards were set up to promote and provide a showcase for best practice in architecture and design.

The judging panel included representatives from the Leeds Society of Architects, Leeds Civic Trust, Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

A range of criteria was used to assess each of the shortlisted schemes, including appearance, sustainability, fitness for purpose, relation to setting, appropriate use of materials, consistency of design, enhancement of the area and lasting qualities.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s lead member for economy and development, said:

“2013 has been an incredibly tough year for the judges because of the scale and diversity of the nominees in all categories, and the breadth of development that is taking place across the city.

“What’s so pleasing is that the awards also demonstrate the importance that we place on regenerating our fine historic buildings and the role of high quality architecture and design in our communities. I am looking forward to the next tranche of new developments when I am sure we will see more stunning examples of construction and architecture of all sizes.”

Mike Gardner, regional director of Aedas, on behalf of the Leeds Chamber Property Forum, said:

“The ambition of Leeds and the quality of the schemes shortlisted has clearly shone through in 2013.

"In the new build category we had two internationally-significant buildings in the first direct Arena and Trinity: one, the first of its type in Europe, and the other, the only scheme of its type to have been developed in Europe in 2013.

"Plus in other categories we have seen some outstandingly sensitive and honest pieces of architecture”

“But, perhaps more importantly, looking back over the past 25 years of the Leeds Architecture Awards, a distinctive thread of design excellence, innovation and creativity in the built environment is clearly evident setting the scene for an exciting and distinctive future for the City.”

Guest assessor Martin Wainwright added:

"As you would expect, the judging process has been as fascinating and varied as the nominees themselves.

"We have not always agreed and it has demonstrated the passion that exists within the city for its architectural heritage, and for creating its future skyline.

“A huge positive this year has been the inclusion of the young people’s award and hearing what young people have had to say about their city. We need to encourage this involvement and hopefully we may have inspired a future generation of designers, architects and planners.”


Notes for editors

1. Shortlisted schemes for the 2013 Leeds Architecture Awards were:

• Trinity Leeds (New Building / Landscape and Public Art)

• Leeds Arena - Clay Pit Lane, Leeds (New Building)

• LILAC - Lilac Grove, Victoria Park Avenue, Bramley (New Building)

• The First House - Chapel Allerton (New Building)

• Church Fields (phase one) - High Street, Boston Spa (New Building)

• Michael Marks Building (M&S Archive), Western Campus, University of Leeds (New Building)

• Age UK, Bradbury Building, Mark Lane, Leeds (Altered Building)

• Saxton, The Avenue, Richmond Hill (Altered Building)

• Crispin Lofts, New York Road, Leeds (Altered Building)

• Marshall’s Mill, Marshall Street, Holbeck (Altered Building / Landscape and Public Art)

• Reception to Martin House Hospice, Grove Road, Clifford, Wetherby (Altered Building)

• ‘Quiet Garden’, Martin House Hospice, Grove Road, Clifford, Wetherby (Landscape and Public Art)

• Morgans office, 75 Otley Road, Headingley (Altered Building and Landscape and Public Art)

• The Granary, Crag House Farm, Crag Hill, Cookridge (Altered and Conserved Building)

• Tower Works, Globe Road, Holbeck (Altered and Conserved Building)

• University Sustainable Garden, University of Leeds (Landscape and Public Art)

• Feed Leeds - Civic Hall, Calverley Street, Leeds and Oakwood (Landscape and Public Art)

• Song Tunnel Artwork, Woodhouse Lane Subway, Leeds (Landscape and Public Art)

2. Members of the judging panel included:

Guest assessor Martin Wainwright MBE is a writer and broadcaster and author of 15 books including ‘Leeds - Shaping the City’, published by the RIBA. He retired in April as Northern Editor of The Guardian after working on the newspaper for 37 years.

Oliver Wainwright is the architecture and design critic of The Guardian. He trained as an architect at Cambridge and the Royal College of Art, and has worked in a variety of practices – from the Architecture and Urbanism Unit of the Greater London Authority, under Richard Rogers, to OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, to public realm work with Muf in London.

Mike Gardner, representing Leeds Chamber Property Forum; Edward Park, Chair of Leeds Society of Architects; Kevin Grady, Chair of Leeds Civic Trust; Keith Knight, Chair of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation; Jennifer Welch, director of RICS North and Midlands; Emma England, regional director, RIBA Yorkshire; Emma Oldroyd, Landscape Architect, Leeds Met; and representing Leeds City Council, John Thorp MBE, Civic Architect; Stephen Robson, Landscape Team Leader; Phil Ward, Conservation Team Leader; Mark Burgess, Design Team Leader and Jenny Fisher, Urban Designer.

For further information please contact:

Tim Downs or Jenny Wilkinson at Aberfield Communications on 0113 357 2075 / 0113 357 2071 or email: tim.downs@aberfield.com / jenny.wilkinson@aberfield.com