The £22million building and facilities expansion at Leeds Arts University has achieved a major construction milestone as the building’s steel frame structure reaches its highest point.
The five-storey, 63,500 sq ft extension is a key element of an ambitious masterplan by Leeds Arts University which will connect to the existing Blenheim Walk campus, allowing the University to further expand, offer more courses and provide an enterprise centre for students.
Representatives from main contractor, ISG and the University came together to mark the ‘topping out’ construction milestone in suitable style by spray-painting the University’s new logo on to the building’s floor slab.
Image caption: Professor Simone Wonnacott, Vice-Chancellor pictured with ISG senior project manager Dave Carter at the topping out of Leeds Arts University
Professor Simone Wonnacott, Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Arts University, said:
“The ambitious plans for the expansion of our Blenheim Walk site have played a significant role in our aspirational vision for the future of Leeds Arts University. It is very rewarding to see the development taking shape, at what is an exciting time for those studying at the only specialist arts University in the North of England.”
The new building will ensure the University can grow to meet demand for places and the future expectations of students, creating a more diverse mix of educational courses, including the introduction of BA(Hons) Filmmaking and BMus(Hons) Popular Music Performance.
Specialist facilities will include a 230-seat auditorium, music, film and photography studios, and a larger specialist arts library. An open plan atrium-style entrance, with a public exhibition gallery and coffee shop, together with the enterprise centre, will enable the University to collaborate with regional businesses and the wider communities of Leeds.
The building will have many sustainable features, including solar energy panels and an urban roof garden, and is expected to achieve a high BREEAM environmental performance rating.
Tim Harvey, regional director at ISG, said:
“Our universities are the envy of the world and it is by constantly innovating and creating a unique student learning experience that the sector will continue to thrive. Leeds Arts University has ambitious plans for the future and I’m delighted that ISG will play a role in translating the University’s vision into reality as these new facilities start to take shape over the coming months.”