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Touch of glass for 'worst' eyesore in Leeds

AN office building which is arguably the worst eyesore on the Leeds skyline is to be transformed into a "striking architectural statement."

Leeds City Council has approved plans for a new-look City House.

Built in 1962, the office block was designed by disgraced Yorkshire architect John Poulson.

It stands above Leeds City Station and is a prominent feature of the skyline, particularly for visitors arriving by rail.

Now commercial property investment and development company Kenmore Property Group is to embark on its extensive redevelopment.

The entire building is to be re-clad with full-height glazed curtain walling which the company said would improve "the visual presence when viewed from the north and the south of the city" and, in particular, "provide a dominant and architecturally expressive view from City Square."

Awkward

The prominent building was formerly occupied by The Department for Transport.

When redeveloped it will offer more than 130,000 sq ft of grade A office space, over 13 floors, with parking for nearly 80 cars.

James Scott, Kenmore Property Group associate director, said: "The plans also address the current understated entrance and the building's awkward geometry."

John Thorp, civic architect for Leeds, said: "The refurbishment of City House is important due to the prominence of the building at the entrance to our city for many visitors and business people.

"The new City House will provide sustainable office accommodation, with very strong links to public transport.

"It will transform a 1960s building into a striking architectural statement on the city skyline."

Kenmore bought City House in 2006 with a view to regenerating what it described as a "tired and dilapidated" building.

The company intends to start work early next month and hopes it will be completed in late autumn, next year.

Mr Scott added: "The overall design of this development complements its surroundings and will provide a landmark within Leeds city centre.

"It will also be delivered at a time of both considerable under supply and strong forecasted demand for prime space."

 
 
 

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