Terry Frost Building: First look at ‘striking’ new Leeds student residence inspired by celebrated local artist

A new mixed-use seven-storey residence has opened its doors in Leeds providing accommodation and an in-house restaurant for the city’s students.
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The Terry Frost Building, named after a celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds College of Art, is located on Whitelock Street in Sheepscar and comprises 105 units that will house a total of 411 students.

The 11,955 square metre project has regenerated a run-down, disused site to create student flats along with a range of communal areas such as a central hub, gym, cinema, laundry room, roof terrace with a garden and an extensive secure bicycle garage as well as an on-site Asian street food restaurant.

The new student district will provide accommodation for 411 students. Picture by AlumnoThe new student district will provide accommodation for 411 students. Picture by Alumno
The new student district will provide accommodation for 411 students. Picture by Alumno
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Alumno, who has officially opened the new residence, has commissioned artworks that have been integrated into the public areas surrounding the new development. In the atrium is a large frieze based on an abstract painting by Frost, and cast into the brickwork at the building's entrance is a poem inspired by the artist and written by Yorkshire-based poet Zaffar Kunial.

Meanwhile, another of Kunial’s work based on the Sheepscar Beck, which runs to the rear of the site before disappearing under Leeds city centre, is built into the retaining wall of the development’s “eternal rain garden” where ceramics by local artist Ameila Wood will also be permanently displayed.

David Campbell, Alumno Managing Director, said: “We have been creating student accommodation around the UK for over 15 years and are delighted to be opening our latest completed project in Leeds.

“Whitelock Street is the perfect location due its proximity to the universities and city centre, and we believe this development will be a great addition to the Sheepscar district and offer significant regeneration benefits. It will also make more housing available to local people by alleviating the need for students to rent family homes privately in the area.” 

The Terry Frost Building, named after a celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds College of Art, is located on Whitelock Street in Sheepscar. Picture by AlumnoThe Terry Frost Building, named after a celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds College of Art, is located on Whitelock Street in Sheepscar. Picture by Alumno
The Terry Frost Building, named after a celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds College of Art, is located on Whitelock Street in Sheepscar. Picture by Alumno
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Commenting on the building’s design, Jonathan Yates, Managing Director at Howard Litchfield Architects who designed the development, said: “Sheepscar was a thriving Irish quarter with many industries including coal extraction, brickmaking and, perhaps most notably, Burmantofts Pottery nearby. The predominance of brickwork in the facades is a clear reference to this urban, industrial and artisan heritage and celebrates the former clay pits to the west.  

 “We are delighted with how the design for the Terry Frost Building has evolved, which cascades down from west to east to the dramatic prow at the Sheepscar Interchange creating a new landmark gateway for the northern city and offering spectacular views of the city to the south.”

Andrew Hurcomb, Divisional Managing Director Yorkshire at builders GMI Construction, said: “We are exceptionally proud to have delivered this landmark development as part of our ongoing and successful relationship with Alumno. The Terry Frost Building is helping to set the standard for purpose-built student accommodation, which is sustainably designed and built to meet the needs of Leeds’ growing student population."