AN award-winning Leeds landmark building is undergoing work to its steel cladding just 15 months after its official opening.
The work is centred on 34,000 pins that fix external cladding to Broadcasting Place – dubbed the ‘rusty building’ because of its orange-brown colour.
The £50m complex alongside the Inner Ring Road includes a 23-storey tower and provides student flats, offices, art studios and lecture halls for Leeds Metropolitan University.
An email obtained by the YEP, referring to repairs to be carried out to fixings was sent to lecturers and staff shortly before Christmas. It said that Liverpool-based Downing, the company that developed the site, had arranged for the securing pins to be replaced.
Downing told the YEP yesterday that the programme involved fitting additional pins and realigning others.
A company spokesperson said: “Following feedback from an independent building façade consultant, we have taken the option to fit additional cladding pins at Broadcasting Place as well as realigning some existing pins.
“This was a result of a standard review of the building’s cladding, which identified a potential requirement to carry out this work in the long-term future.
“We’re committed to ensuring the highest standards for our properties and so we have decided to carry out this work pre-emptively as a belt and braces measure.
“Our cladding sub-contractor is carrying out the work under the terms of our warranty and it is being phased to ensure minimum disruption to the building’s tenants.”
Talks have been held between the firm and the university’s estates services to ensure the programme of work does not disrupt examinations and other events scheduled to take place in the building.
A spokeswoman for the university, which leases the building, said: “The owners wished to carry out this work and we are co-operating with the contractors to ensure minimum disruption for our staff and students.”
Built on the site of the former BBC studios in Woodhouse Lane, Broadcasting Place was constructed using CorTen steel - also used to create Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North sculpture at Gateshead.
Over time the metal oxidises to form a weather-proof outer layer.
This type of “weathering steel” was developed in the 1930s and does not need painting as it does not rust like conventional steel.
While it has been described as a Marmite building - you either love it or hate it, Broadcasting Place has received a string of awards, notably Best Tall Building in the World from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, in which it beat off competition from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.