Sectors : Homes / Learning

Client : Maple Grove Developments

Working with our existing client, Maple Grove Developments, we obtained planning permission in December 2019 for the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the existing office building adjacent to Park Lane. Main Contractor GMI Construction commenced works on site in March 2020 under controlled Covid lockdown guidelines, with a light gauge steel framed (LGSF) construction due to the tight urban grain with the 188 bed project being handed over to operator Unipol September 2021.

The scheme design responds to the historic grain of the Hanover Square/Woodhouse Square Conservation Area to preserve and enhance its setting through a concept creating a series of linked townhouses, facetted to respond to the curving site boundary fronting on to Park Lane and reflecting the historic street pattern. The scheme graduates in height from 3 to 6 storeys with a mixture of brick & zinc facades, terminating in a ‘bookend pavilion’ that completes the streetscape and views from Hanover Square.

The proposal was designed to form a transition between the higher rise, denser sites to the south, adjacent to the Kirkstall Road corridor and the 2 to 3 storey residential housing to the north. Off-site highways enhancements to the public realm included improved footpath links and crossing points within the immediate vicinity of the site, together with traffic calming measures to reduce the dominance of the car. Although the Building is not identified as a “relevant building” under the approved documents, the Design Team agreed that the façade would follow the spirit of this where possible, with the external wall construction conforming to non-combustible standards (a2, s1, d0).

DLA designed student bedrooms, studios and shared living spaces – including the ground floor collaboration spaces, cardio suite, reception and common room. The ground floor uses are designed to enhance both activity and natural surveillance within the immediate area.

Our detailed contextual analysis identified the importance of preserving long distance views to local landmarks such as the Church of St Bartholomew and the dominant Armley Prison, both of which are Grade II* Listed. Through consultation with the local residents group, the scheme incorporates new tree and wildflower planting on the greenspace to further enhance these views.