I'm not sure about this one, i don't think it fits in with the area, i don't like that grey brick down it either, i think this would fit in more around City Island/ Whithall riverside. On the plus side its hiding at least some of the hideous WY playhouse and we are getting another fairly large building and it's not taking up to much room. It's also bringing more development to this edge of town and with Eastgate and Harewood and this new Simpson tower, this area is going to feel much bigger and a bit more spruced up.
This will block off much of the uglier part of the W.Y.Playhouse (stupid name for one of the city's top theatres). It sort of continues the string of tallish residential towers, from Clarence Dock, Trinity 1, Gateway, Checkerboard, then this tower.
It looks good to me, fairly traditional post modern design, good vertical elements to it, good mix of fairly standard materials, a lot of visiual interest with a mix of styles of windows and balconies, and a nice mix of a straight vertical and adjoining curved facade.
I think it's one of the better examples of the 'Leeds Look'. I hope it remains and isn't reclad. Sure it's out of fashion at the moment but I have no doubt in my mind that it will come back in a few years.
The fact that it reflects it's early '90s era is fine by me. It's the same argument to retaining Victorian buildings which reflect their era and heritage, and the same argument that encourages new buildings to be modern as in time, they will become the heritage of their time (the early 2000s).
Im not a fan of the WY Playhouse either architecturally to me it looks a spitting image of a typical late 1980s shopping centre such as Sheffields Meadowhall or Lakeside in Essex as opposed to a grand old theatre. Wonder if anyone went in expecting to find Woolworths or Marks & Spencer as opposed to a play or musical?
Guess it goes with wider grumblings regarding Quarry Hill as a whole which has been dead slow at developing. They should really have done something more exciting design wise such as use a Frank Gehry and couldn't they put a convention centre down here as well when they put it up in the late 1980s.
Also didn't I remember that when first opened that the West Yorkshire Playhouse had made huge losses and at one point in the early 1990s was at risk of closure? hno: Agree it is a good cultural asset for the city which I presume is now making money but something better visually should have been placed here.
Quarry Hill would certainly be ideal for an exhibition or conference centre Id say. But the West Yorkshire Playhouse shouldnt be a grand old theatre. Its perfectly acceptable to have a striking modern building that represents that drama is just as important and enjoyed now as it ever was.
I think for such a major cultural venue in Leeds it might have wanted to stand out a bit more rather than being bland brick, something like the Lowry in Manchester, granted it was early 90's but this is boring even for that period.
I think quality and appearance are important and should be valued, from whatever era.
A lot of Victorian buildings are dull, dirty blackened stone. If you read reports of Leeds in the early 20th century or look at old aerial photos, the place looks grim, I think J.B.Priestly among others commented in a similar way.
But the last few decades did not value aesthetics as previous ages did. It was an era of utility and rationization that allowed for no frills. Thats why most architecture from the last few decades has been, in general, pretty shit.
That is true, culminating perhaps in the 1960s with some brutalist designs. However, it is still representative of it's era, is it not? and I would therefore like to see some small part of it kept for heritage sake.
The WYPH built in the 80s/90s was clearly of a time that had come out of that utilitarian era, and does show quite a bit of effort dedicated to aesthetics.
A forum community dedicated to skyscrapers, towers, highrises, construction, and city planning enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about structures, styles, reviews, scale, transportation, skylines, architecture, and more!