As another summer comes to an end the Planning Design team had their annual team building day out. This year we went an on architectural walking tour of Leeds. The architecture of Leeds, encompasses a wide range of architectural styles and notable buildings. As with most northern industrial centres, much of Leeds' prominent architecture is of the Victorian era. The tour was led by our Architect Lindsay Cruddas who spent part of her training in Leeds. With a wealth of anecdotal knowledge reinforced by a significant amount of research we were led around the city.
Starting at the university in the north of the city we meandered south, taking in the breadth of architectural styles that make up the two University campuses which are an eclectic mix of Georgian and Victorian Architecture through to the Brutalist form and uber modern styles which have emerged as the University has expanded. The whole area has seen significant growth over the past decade and is a hive of architectural styles all competing and complementing each other.
The tour moved through into the town centre where the historic arcades and newly renovated Kirkgate market hall provided welcome respite from the rain. Taking in the sites of the new flagship John Lewis Store, Corn Exchange and the oldest pubs in Leeds (to name a few) we kept moving south, towards the docks, which saw significant decline from the early 20th century when Leeds' industry moved away from the centre. Leeds' post-war industrial decline marked the death knell for the area which became rundown and suffered from crime and vagrancy. Redevelopment began in the area in the 1990s and it has seen significant redevelopment ever since. Largely cut off from the city by the ring road, the council provides a free water taxi to connect to the city centre.
Overall the architectural heritage of Leeds is abundant and continues to grow with some impressive redevelopment projects underway across the city.
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