A total of 15 buildings and projects were revealed as finalists over the summer for the awards, which are a collaborative effort between Leeds Civic Trust, Leeds Society of Architects, Leeds City Council, and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Last night (Wednesday, November 1), after a rigorous judging process, the winners were announced in a ceremony held in the elegantly stylish setting of New Briggate’s Howard Assembly Room.
Awards were given in five main categories: new buildings (up to £10m in value), new buildings (over £10m in value), adapted buildings, cultural projects, and public realm & landscape.
The winners in their respective categories were Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, the University of Leeds’s Sir William Henry Bragg Building, Opera North’s Music Works, Leeds Playhouse, and Moortown Park.
The design team from Heatherwick Studio, which worked on Maggie’s – a cancer support centre in the grounds of St James’s Hospital – had double cause for celebration as it also received the evening’s top prize, project of the year. A cheque for £1,000 was also presented in support of the work of Maggie’s charity.
The roll-call of winners was completed by 11 & 12 Wellington Place, which received a special sustainability award.
Guests at the ceremony heard from speakers including Councillor Helen Hayden, the council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure.
The three award judges – renowned architects Natalia Maximova, Robert Evans, and Charles Campion – also participated in a panel discussion with event host Andrew Edwards.
This year’s awards were the first to be held since 2019, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said; “Leeds is a city bursting with ideas and innovation, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its ever-changing skyline and array of eye-catching buildings, structures and spaces.
“The Leeds Architecture Awards are a fine way to recognise the work that is being done to make our city an even more attractive, inclusive and environmentally friendly place to live or visit.
“We were delighted to support the awards, and it was my pleasure to attend the ceremony and hear some of the stories behind the successful schemes. Well done to all the entrants and winners.”
Martin Hamilton, director of Leeds Civic Trust, said; “I know that the judges thought long and hard before choosing the winners – this reflected the incredibly high quality of entries this year. Leeds Civic Trust champions high-quality architectural design, and there is no doubt that this year’s competition displayed these qualities in abundance.
“I was particularly pleased that this year’s competition found time to pay tribute to Mark Finch who, as director of real estate at Rushbond PLC, led the regeneration of some of the city’s most iconic buildings, including two on the shortlist for this competition – the First White Cloth Hall and the Majestic.
“Mark sadly passed away earlier this year but it is hoped that his memory will live on through a prize at future awards ceremonies.”
Luke Sach, co-president of Leeds Society of Architects, said; “It is an exciting time for Leeds, with a thriving architectural and built environment scene, underpinned by major regeneration and investment in the city.
“Leeds’s strengths were perfectly demonstrated by the high volume of exciting projects that were entered into the Leeds Architecture Awards, culminating in the project of the year being awarded to Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre by Heatherwick Studio.
“Thank you to everyone who entered this year, and congratulations to all the award winners and shortlisted projects – it has been an outstanding few years for architecture in Leeds. We are already excited to see what the next Leeds Architecture Awards has in store.”
Celebrating excellence in architectural design across the metropolitan borough of Leeds, the awards were open to schemes completed between July 2018 and June this year.
More than 50 entries were received, with representatives from Leeds Civic Trust, Leeds Society of Architects and Leeds City Council then whittling them down to the 15-strong shortlist that was announced in August.
Two additional entries – Moortown Park and DLA Architecture’s Holbeck-based Drapers Yard scheme – were then added to the shortlist at the request of the judges.
Organisers included a cultural projects category as a nod to activities taking place in the city as part of LEEDS 2023.
The awards received sponsorship support from structural building component manufacturer and designer ACS, high-performance windows, doors and smart accessory manufacturer NorDan, ceramics manufacturer Porcelanosa and external facade product provider Taylor Maxwell.