Tower Works, Leeds

Towerworks 15
Project sector
Project location
Year complete
Main contractor
Sir Robert McAlpine
Sub contractor
Marlborough Brickwork Ltd
Ryder Architecture

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  • Facing brick and brick cladding supplied to the Tower Works project, Leeds
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    Tower Works, Leeds is a new £57m, 250-unit development that transforms a previously neglected site in the heart of the city centre. Delivered by Richardson and Ask Real Estate in conjunction with Homes England, this project is especially important for all involved as it will provide much-needed housing and therefore growth opportunities for the city.

    Designed by Ryder Architecture and managed by Sir Robert McAlpine, this build-to-rent project contains a mix of studios and one, two and three-bed apartments, plus more than 15,000sq ft of ground-floor commercial space. To encompass these units, Brick Services supplied the Hurstwood Multi and Olde English Multi facing bricks to the project. Additionally, to create the recessed panel features used across this historic facade, Brick Services supplied brick cladding panels featuring the same facing bricks, all of which were expertly installed by Marlborough Brickwork Ltd.

    Design concept

    Adjacent to several listed structures and within the Holbeck Conservation Area itself, it was key that the facade materials used on Tower Works would be sympathetic and complementary to the existing architectural language.

    Most prominent are the site’s three landmark towers, Giotto, Verona and Little Chimney, which act as focal points for the scheme. Influenced by Italianate architecture, including the Giotto Campanile bell tower of Florence’s Cathedral, these three towers are an established part of the Leeds skyline and were therefore instrumental in deciding the project's material selection.

    The site's history as an 1860s pin badge factory also brings an industrial element to the scheme. This can be seen reflected in the gold metal panelling and Juliet balconies used across the facade.

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    Project completion

    Working closely with Ryder Architecture, the Brick Services team looked at the existing vernacular before recommending a selection of red facing bricks that would harmonise with the adjacent schemes and accompany the famous towers. Upon review, the architects chose a blend of the Hurstwood Multi and Olde English Multi facing bricks for their combined character and the subtle contrast they provided to the towers.

    To ensure the project’s facade did not appear monotonous, brickwork details such as protruding stretcher courses and recessed panels were also employed for delicate variation and rhythm. These recessed panels were made possible using a mechanically fixed brick cladding system that allowed installers, Marlborough Brickwork Ltd to continue using the Hurstwood Multi and Olde English Multi for a seamless brickwork to brick cladding transition.

    Completed in 2023, the Tower Works scheme now sits proudly alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where it has re-joined its iconic peers in the city skyline. Shortlisted for a regional RICS Residential Development award, this remarkable project showcases the efforts of the entire project team and their dedication to upholding local history while building for the future.

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