Leeds favourite building: Temple Works and Quarry House

One is based on an Egyptian temple and the other is a 20th century office built on the site of a former Leeds council estate.

But despite their differences, both have made an impression on the city and boosted its reputation for architecture and design.



Temple Works, on Marshall Street, Holbeck, was built by John Marshall between 1836 and 1830 and was originally used as a flax mill.

The Grade-II listed building was based on the Temple of Edfu at Horus in Egypt, a design inspired by Marshall's interest in Egyptology.

But probably the building's most famous feature was the sheep which used to graze on the grass-covered roof.

The unusual farming method was used to retain humidity inside the mill, preventing the linen thread from becoming dried out and unmanageable.

The landmark was nominated by Aubrey Solomon, who said: "In the past years, it has been neglected – in fact, collapsing!

"Recently, it has been revived as an art centre. It is a very unique building. Where else in Leeds or the country, can you have sheep grazing on the roof?"

Quarry House has been nicknamed "The Kremlin" and is home to both the Department of Health and Department of Work and Pensions.

The building opened in 1993 on the site of the Quarry Hill Flats, which was the UK's biggest housing scheme when it was built in the 1930s.

The flats, which housed thousands of people at its peak, were bulldozed in 1978 due to structural problems, and later replaced with some of the city's most influential buildings, including West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds College of Music and BBC Leeds.

People in Leeds tend to love it or hate it – and Lisa Valentine loves it.

In her entry, she said: "I think the Health Service building is spectacular. It has wonderful proportions and sits looking all powerful and sure of itself. "It does have a slight 'Soviet block' majesty to it and I love the 1950s "this is the BBC calling" aeriel on the top."

The contenders in our search for Leeds's favourite building have all now been revealed and now, it's time for you to choose your favourite.

The winner will be announced at the Leeds Architecture Awards on January 28, 2010.

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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