Leeds nostalgia: Why Bridgewater Place is a modern classic

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The tallest inhabited building in Leeds and at 110m, the 32-storey structure remains a landmark of the city and a reminder of the boom years, when banks were keen to lend on such ambitious property projects.

Work on the building began in 2004 and was completed in 2007, although not without controversy.

It was built by Kevin Kinfoot’s company, KW Linfoot Plc, which went into administration in 2009 after the banks withdrew funding. Mr Linfoot had his sights on the former Lumier site in the city centre - home to the old Post Office HQ - where he planned to build the tallest towers in Western Europe. That plan never came off and today that site, now known as Central Square, is being developed by self-made millionaire Steve Parkin, into an office and retail space.

The building itself, dubbed ‘the Dalek’, draws mixed reactions. In March 2011, a man was killed after high winds near the base of the building blew a lorry off the road, crushing him.

Following an inquest into his death, traffic restrictions have been in place around the building whenever high winds have been predicted and measures to mitigate the effects are ongoing.

One academic from Leeds University said one way to stop high winds from the Pennines being a problem would be to build some slightly smaller buildings nearby.

The building itself nonetheless represents a real change in direction for Leeds and for city living in general, which became a leitmotif of the 1990s and 2000s.

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