National award for Highcross’ Broad Gate, Leeds

October 15, 2010

Highcross’ Broad Gate office and retail scheme in Leeds has won the accolade of ‘Best Refurbished Workplace’ in the country, in the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) national awards.

Broad Gate was one of five projects located outside London to take home one of the national awards, which were presented across seven categories. The development won the ‘Best Refurbished Workplace’ award against strong competition from schemes in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Winchester. The national award followed Broad Gate’s success in the BCO’s Northern Regional Awards in May this year.

The judges were impressed with Highcross’ delivery of a large office building through the refurbishment and redevelopment of a former department store, commenting:
“Highcross and its team of architects The Fairhursts Design Group, surveyors Cyril Sweett and contractor Wates Construction have been exceptionally bold in finishing the original, but incomplete, 1930s building and creating, in the process, spectacular office floors wrapped around a truly impressive atrium.”

Located on The Headrow in the centre of Leeds, the 300,000 sq ft Broad Gate development provides 170,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation from 2,000 sq ft suites to whole floors up to 39,000 sq ft. At the centre of the building is a full-height atrium, intersected by glazed walkways connecting the upper floors. The scheme also includes four retail units on the ground floor.

The refurbishment of the building included restoration of the external facade and completion of the original blueprint of the building, using traditional Portland stone and brick. More than 80% of the existing building structure was retained and two-thirds of the building’s facade.

The judges commented: “The transformation from a tired department store to a quality city-centre office is inspirational. The quality of light and the abundance of space in the atrium, the flexibility and efficiency of the floor plates and the use of the existing windows and sill heights have worked to create a workspace of real quality. Equally, the views to the north over the old park creates a new perspective on the city.”

Highcross director, Richard Pellatt commented: “This is our equivalent of winning an Oscar, and we are very proud of this latest recognition of Broad Gate’s transformation from a dilapidated, former department store to an outstanding office development. The scheme has brought back to life a building which had been part of the Leeds’ landscape for many years, while delivering an exceptional working environment, and this award is a tribute to the whole team involved in its success.”

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