Experienced design teams are being encouraged to enter a competition to transform Leeds City Square as part of plans to make the city centre more vibrant, dynamic and inclusive.
The competition has been launched by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on behalf of Balfour Beatty and Leeds City Council and will appeal to applicants with experience of delivering world class public spaces in city centres.
Applicants will be requested to design a world class and vibrant piece of inclusive public realm, which responds positively to the city’s diverse population, cultural richness and to the city’s climate change ambitions. The development of City Square and surrounding transport links is vital for transforming how people will move around the city via bus routes and active travel, improving the climate and reducing carbon emissions and ensuring an iconic welcome to the city to represent how much our city has grown thus far and for all our future ambitions yet to come.
The strategy is a call to action to ensure that the delivery of new and improved public realm meets the council and the city’s vision for the creation of world-class and inclusive spaces. City Square is our welcome to Leeds and for many, provides their first experience of the city, so it is vital that the space reflects how vibrant, culturally rich and inclusive the city is.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We created the Our Spaces strategy to set out our vision to transform and create world-class and inclusive public spaces across Leeds that directly contribute to an improvement in the health and well-being of our residents. The redevelopment of City Square is at the heart of this, and the chosen design will create a space which benefits everyone, responds to our climate challenges and cultural ambitions as well as capturing what makes Leeds so fantastic.
"As the city begins to recover from the pandemic and we look forward to a thriving future, our public realm holds even more importance and I am looking forward to seeing the proposals for the transformation.”
The deadline for receipt of applications is 2pm on Tuesday 27 October 2020. Applications are invited in accordance with the requirements set out in the Memorandum of Information, which is available here: https://ribacompetitions.com/LeedsCitySquare
It is anticipated that up to five teams will be shortlisted and invited to participate in the design phase of the competition. The shortlisted applicants will have proven experience of delivering world class public realm in a city centre setting, that can address the civil, mechanical and electrical engineering requirements for lighting, water features, surface water attenuation as well as the potential for public art input to create a unique new sense of place for City Square.