Lighting the way to a new future for famous Leeds site

PIC: Bruce Rollinson
PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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It was once the engine room of Leeds during the Industrial Revolution. Now Granary Wharf is a symbol of the city’s transformation in the 21st Century.

Developers Waterside Places transformed what had become a derelict car park into a new mix of apartments, offices and shops over four years after being granted planning permission for the major regeneration scheme in 2006.

One of the most striking aspects of the new development is the transformation of the Dark Arches area through the use of striking LED lighting, as shown in this picture.

The Dark Arches are a network of unlined, brick arches under Leeds Railway Station.

As part of the transformation of the area, new commercial units were created in the vacant railway arches and are now home to a range of bars, cafés and restaurants.

The wider regeneration project saw Berlin-based sound and light artist Hans Peter Kuhn commissioned in 2009 by Leeds City Council, Northern Way and Yorkshire Forward to create a clean, bright and creative entrance to the city that would also serve to inspire “artists, young people and the public to engage with city redevelopment, urban design and their creative relationship with space through sound”. This was achieved through the £4.6m ‘Light’ Neville Street public art scheme.

The overall Granary Wharf scheme has won a host of industry awards for its regeneration work, with its first residential development, the copper-clad Waterman’s Place being completed in 2009. Candle House was finished a year later and like Waterman’s Place provides residents with views over Leeds’s ever-altering landscape.

But work on improving the area to make the most of its city centre location close to the River Aire continues, with a new southern entrance to Leeds railway station opening last year.

The expansion will continue next year with the planned opening of 250 more new apartments, offices, bars and restaurants.

Technical details: Fujifilm X100T camera with a 23mm fixed lens, exposure of 1/28th sec @ f5.6, ISO800.

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