Sectors : Learning

Client : University of Leeds

The successful refurbishment and restoration of the Wool Division Building at the University of Leeds has given the property a new lease of life and transformed a tired and ailing Grade II listed building into a cutting edge, high-tech hub building for the Institute of Communications Studies.

Incorporating TV Studios, Media Editing Suites, a Radio Studio and 60 Seat Cinema, the new vibrant and contemporary interior reflects the departments’ progressive image and strikes a bold contrast between the historic fabric and its new contemporary use. The external envelope has been sensitively restored and the thermal performance considerably improved to bring it up to modern energy consumption standards giving the building a new sustainable future for the next 25-30 years.

Originally the Institute of Communications Studies was based in a number of separate buildings across campus and suffered a number of operational inefficiencies as a consequence. The conversion of the Wool Division Building allowed the department to bring together the disparate elements into a single building creating a central hub that would cater for all their operational and teaching needs. Considering the future flexibility and longevity of the building were key drivers in the design process. The capacity to make future alterations as the departments needs develop with time was incorporated in ways such as lightweight demountable partitions for ease of future reconfiguration internally.

The carbon footprint of the building was also taken into consideration, and the energy performance target set at 100kwh/m2 per annum. This is a large improvement on its previous performance and will substantially reduce future running costs.