Location: Leeds
Date: 2011 - 2016
Status: Completed
Size: 42,000m² (incl. 17,000m² of arcades, 24,000m² John Lewis, 800 parking spaces)
Credits: MASTERPLAN (Knut Bruner, Julia Cano, Stefano Dal Piva, Lizy Huyghe, Friedrich Ludewig, Roberta Pari, Heidrun Schuhmann, Keigo Yoshida.)

JOHN LEWIS (Michel Bosauder, Julia Cano, Pablo Carballal, Andrea Collar Loyer, Stefano Dal Piva, Marc Dufour-Feronce, Catherine Hennessy, Peter Hofstetter, Lizy Huyghe, Friedrich Ludewig, Roberta Pari, Charles Pigott,  Andreas Reeg, Heidrun Schuhmann, Sofia Steffenoni, Marcos Velascos, Adam Vukmanov.)

VICTORIA GATE ARCADES (Ana Arrebola, Javier Briasco Garcia, Ruggiero Bruno Chialastri, Stefano Dal Piva, Dave Edwards, Patrick Elborough, Catherine Hennessy, Christian Höeller, Lovisa Lindstrom, Friedrich Ludewig, Edoardo Milli, Claudia Orsetti, Walee Phiriyaphongsak, Charles Pigott, Sara Poza Ruiz, Aemilia Ross, Elena Ruiz, Ying Teh, Irene Todero, Antonio Torres Tebar, Katrina Varian, Claudio Vilarinho, Allan Yeo)

MSCP (Andrea Collar Loyer, Stefano Dal Piva, Catherine Hennessy, Friedrich Ludewig, Charles Pigott, Keigo Yoshida)

The Victoria Gate sits adjacent to the magnificent Victoria Quarter, built in 1900 by Frank Matcham. The development of the adjacent Victoria area follows several cancelled schemes for the derelict site to the east of Leeds city centre dating from the 1970s and 1990s.
Our 2011 master-plan for Victoria aims at reinvigorating this part of the city centre with the addition of new retail, leisure, restaurant, hotel and residential uses. It defined Victoria Gate as a key urban block of the first phase, strategically located between the existing Victoria Quarter Arcades and a new John Lewis department Store.

The new arcade building is designed as a two storey, twin arcade with a complex roofscape continuing the grand history of Leeds’ 19th century arcades. A large casino is located above the arcade, partially over-sailing it and creating a four storey civic frontage on Eastgate.
The exterior of the building evolves from the 19th and 20th century language of the surrounding Blomfield and Victorian brick and terracotta buildings, and consists of sculpturally pleated brick elevations, changing in rhythm and scale to respond to the context. 
Horizontal composition prevails in line with the context: the concrete ground level accompanies the natural slope, the upper level alternates backwards and forwards to break down the visual masses. The chamfer and the off-set of the bricks create depth to enrich the perception of the whole. The three-dimensional texture of the brickwork, and how we could form pleats and steps, was an important factor in the decision to form the external façade from brick-faced precast concrete panels. We devised a series of width modules of seven, nine, eleven or thirteen bricks which could be repeated in differing lengths. All the brickwork was pointed off-site and complete panels were lifted into place and restrained back to the steel frame. 
The rooflight continues the tradition of sculptural glazed arcade roofs in Leeds. The design of the glazed steel roof structure was optimized for steel section and glass panel sizes, and to eliminate any twisting and warping of glass whilst keeping the panels as large as possible.

John Lewis Department store
The John Lewis department store is the anchor of the new Victoria Gate quarter, and located on the civic axis of Leeds, within direct lines of sight of City Hall. It will be the largest John Lewis store north of London, and it is likely to be the one of the last new full line department store ever build, as shopping patterns are changing and there are fewer and fewer cities that can support a major store of this size.
John Lewis often require only a few windows, therefore the building could not rely on transparency to create life and articulation. Instead, the façade order is inspired by the rich textile history of Leeds and is designed as a sculptural diagrid of reconstituted stone and layered terracotta, reminiscent of woven fabric. The rich relief in the façade provides light and shadow, and ensures that the building has a sculptural presence during the day and the night, with and without windows.
Reconstituted stone with polished and acid etched finishes, cast in panels weighing up to 20t, are used as external wall cladding. Windows are placed where requested and terracotta is used as infill in the diagrid where glass is inappropriate. The terracotta is an interpretation of the traditional Burmantofts Faience products manufactured locally, and consists of simple repetitive hexagon panels, which are rotated to achieve visual difference for each elevation.

Multi-storey Car Park
The car park is located at the eastern edge of Leeds City Centre, replacing a brutalist 1960s police station by a busy roundabout. Public transport in Leeds leaves much to be desired, so for the immediate future, ease of access by car and the availability of parking are of vital importance to bring people back to the city centre. 
The building mass is a major landmark for the passing traffic, seen from large distances when approaching the city from the east. The building sits adjacent to a major new department store, which has a strong diagrid facade expressed in reconstituted stone. The parking facade reinterprets the diagrid motive into an open performative skin, providing natural ventilation and daylight while producing a recognizable identity. Anodised aluminium fins produce an interplay of light and shadow that appears as a diagonal grid pattern when seen from afar. 
The diagonal patterns is achieved through twisting and rotating the vertical fins. There are four different twists to the fins, and nine different fixing brackets across the façade. The result is a façade that may appear complex, yet is formed from the simplest possible components, open and well ventilated from the inside, yet visually interesting from the outside.