Leeds firm behind mesmerising art installation at Victoria Gate shopping centre

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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Light reflects off thousands of wooden lengths forming part of a suspended ceiling art installation at the top of a new spiral staircase at the Victoria Gate Shopping Centre, Leeds.

The ceiling is made of 18,000 pieces of hand painted wood. It consists of some three-and-a-half tonnes of oak and took just four weeks from conception to installation, all of which was carried out by Leeds-based construction firm, The Broadley Group.

PIC: Simon Hulme

PIC: Simon Hulme

Working to 360 individual drawings, they created 400 ‘pods’ to make the sculpture, which creates a fascinating focal point for the new staircase, which leads up to the two new rooftop D&D restaurants Issho and East 59th.

The Broadley Group had up to 50 of its team working on the project, transporting the pods from the firm’s joinery workshop in Hunslet to Victoria Gate.

Chris Hiles, the group’s Business Development Manager, said: “It is like nothing we have ever done before. At one point our factory looked like a huge Jenga factory with thousands of pieces of wood everywhere.”

The Broadley Group have worked on several shopping centres throughout Yorkshire such as The Trinity, Victoria Quarter, Meadowhall in Sheffield and for Robert McAlpine in the original construction of Victoria Gate and were approached by Hammerson earlier this year with a plan of what they wanted - and a desire to have it finished before the openings of the two rooftop restaurants, the first of which opened in June.

It is like nothing we have ever done before. At one point our factory looked like a huge Jenga factory with thousands of pieces of wood everywhere.

Chris Hiles, The Broadley Group’s business development manager

Chris added: “We specialise in refurbishing properties but this was very bespoke, very unique and different to what we had done before. It was challenging but if that is what the client asks for we will make it happen. It was a great team effort.”

The £165m flagship shopping centre opened in October last year and in its first six months attracted over four million shoppers.

The centre brought 23 shops, of which 17 were brands coming to Leeds for the first time, as well as a flagship five-floor John Lewis department store.

TECHNICAL DETAILS: NIkon D3s camera, 12-24mm lens, Exposure 60th at f5.6, iso 800).July 6, 2017

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