Leeds Station’s southern entrance an engineering triumph

Building: Network Rail Glasgow'Location: Glasgow'Architect: AHR
Building: Network Rail Glasgow'Location: Glasgow'Architect: AHR
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Leeds Station’s new southern entrance has won a prestigious engineering award for its outstanding design.

The project, overseen by Mott McDonald, was commended in the Yorkshire Structural Awards at a ceremony at the Met Hotel hosted by the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Judges recognised the complexity of the structure, which is sited close to three of the station’s railway lines as well as the River Aire.

In their comments the panel said:

“A range of cutting edge tools and techniques were used to conquer this challenging site. Multiple engineering challenges needed to be addressed, not least how to construct within the fast-flowing river, and how to retain and strengthen the existing Victorian viaduct and station roof. New structures have been successfully integrated with existing ones to deliver a unique landmark building.”

The opening of the entrance has seen huge changes in passenger flows, with thousands of commuters now using the route as a shortcut to access offices on the south bank of the river every week.

Up to one fifth of the station’s 100,000 daily users are expected to benefit from the entrance, which also eases congestion at other ticket gates.

The station saw rising demand for a southern entrance with the development of major office spaces in the area such as Bridgewater Place, ASDA’s UK headquarters, Holbeck Urban Village and Leeds Dock.

Other projects recognised at the awards night included the Walmgate Bar in York, which recently underwent work to strengthen the Elizabethan timer extension of the city’s historic southern gateway to prevent damage in case of a vehicle strike.