‘This delicate rib cage of a building designed by young practice Fletcher Crane Architects was the judges’ unanimous winner. The proposal aims to ‘repair the historic urban fabric’. Dubbed ‘The Loom’, the wraparound external structure creates a column-free office floor inside. A large sloping underside provides cover for the riverside public area beneath.’ Richard Waite, Architects Journal.
‘The Loom’ was conceived and is defined as an apparatus for weaving strands of local business into a collective.
The design approach will enable the scheme to have iconic status both locally and throughout Yorkshire giving local business a wider presence throughout the region. The proposed waterfront cafe on site, along with the retention of the existing restaurant will complement the business hub providing an alternative venue for meeting, networking and relaxing. Opening up the water front will provide a destination and meeting place for Leeds, attracting people to the area and facilitating exposure for the local business.
The initial brief called for an iconic building, and delivering a commercially viable scheme that was able to meet that criteria whilst responding to the city urban design agenda, historic context presented a great challenge. The proposed scheme has been carefully developed to be appropriate to the site, but also be uniquely crafted, providing a presence at local, regional and national level.