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ST CECILIA PLACE, QUARRY HILL : LEEDS

Working with Metropolitan and District Securities, DLA has submitted a full planning application for the proposed redevelopment of a site at Quarry Hill, known as St Cecilia Place. The residential led mixed use scheme consists of 352 apartments along with communal residential facilities, amenity spaces, commercial units which will provide residential accommodation to meet the growing needs of the city and ‘build to rent’ market.

The design and palette of materials recognises the historic building fabric and characteristics of the island site whilst complementing recently completed local developments, such as the new Leeds City College and the buildings approved as part of the adjacent SoYo masterplan by Moda Living. The scale and massing has been heavily influenced by the topography of the site and its immediate context which includes an established inverted massing curve whereby the proposed buildings increase in scale on a north south axis towards the ring road, whilst also responding to a second design curve that continues the stepping rhythm created by the recently completed Leeds City College Building which accentuates the form of the island site.

The design concept provides a series of elegant interlinked tall buildings ranging in height from 19, 20 and 22 storeys and sited in the grid arrangement originally established by Terry Farrell masterplan in 1990. The elevations have been developed on a robust grid approach, with deep reveals and brick detailing to reflect the immediate context. A significant level of both internal and external amenity space is provided for occupiers creating a combination of both public spaces at ground level and large communal roof gardens exclusively for residents creating vibrant spaces with far reaching views of the wider city. The building forms create two south facing landscaped courtyards, along with ecological and visual enhancement of the retained landscape corridor to the north of the site which forms part of the wider Leeds Habitat Network.

Given the height of the scheme significant work has been undertaken as the design has evolved to ensure the development does not impact on the surrounding area or pedestrian comfort through a detailed wind analysis, and more recently a physical wind tunnel assessment by the BRE.

The scheme is also located in close proximity to the Leeds District Heating Network and early dialogue has been undertaken on the potential to connect the development to further enhance its sustainability credentials.

Finally, the development will form the final piece of the wider Quarry Hill masterplan, which is known as the cultural quarter of Leeds and includes Leeds Playhouse, the Northern Ballet and Leeds College of Music Auditorium. The site itself is located on St Cecilia Street and through early consultation we established St Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians and therefore, it felt appropriate the development should be known as St Cecilia Place.