£85m Creative Arts building tops out at Leeds Beckett University

A key milestone has been hit at Leeds Beckett University, with a ‘topping out’ ceremony for its new £85m Creative Arts building.

The Creative Arts building will be home to the Leeds School of Arts and will include a wealth of outstanding specialist facilities that include: dedicated studios for fashion, music and performing arts; a 184-seat performance theatre and a 220-seat Dolby Atmos movie cinema.

Colleagues from the Leeds School of Arts and representatives from Downing Group Ltd, gathered to commemorate the ‘topping out’ as construction is complete at the highest point of the landmark development.

Dr Lisa Stansbie, Dean of Leeds School Of Arts and Dr Oliver Bray, Head of Subject, Performing Arts were joined by Charlie Hind, LBSU Union Affairs Officer, guitar-playing student Jacob Hughes and Daryl Jackson, Site Manager at Downing Group Ltd, for an official photograph overlooking the city skyline.

Dr Lisa Stansbie said: “It brings together students from the seven different sites across campus creating one home for the school. The Leeds School of Arts will all be city based eventually and I think that’s a great thing for students to be within the city.”

Work began in January 2018 and the building is expected to be open for the academic year 2020-2021. The building will provide a home for the creative performing arts with spaces full of character that draw on the university’s heritage for diverse learning skills opportunities.

Dr Oliver Bray said: “The new high tech spaces create an interactive environment which provides fantastic opportunities for our staff and students to collaborate across multiple disciplines. The geography of all being located in the same space is one of the most exciting things for us.”

Architects Hawkins\Brown designed the building, which also features; state-of-the-art TV and film studios; a black box studio; a green screen studio; a stop motion studio; Foley studios; dubbing and music recording studios; acoustic labs and a host of post-production suites.

With 165,000 square metres spread over 9 storeys, the exterior is to complement existing listed buildings at City Hall and Portland Way, while providing open-plan learning spaces and a modern roof terrace that will showcase everything from end-of-year shows to departmental performances.

In addition, there will also be a number of general teaching spaces that will foster inter-disciplinary collaboration, creative talent and knowledge sharing.

At the centre of the building will be innovative learning spaces, which allow students and staff from the school to collaborate “in new and dynamic ways.”