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Country: UK, England
Purpose: office space, retail space, services, entertainment
Main Contractor: Wates Construction
Architect: DLA Design
Our contribution: Performing static, fabrication and site project curtain walls.
Large mixed-use complex known as Central Square is a project aiming to highlight the growing importance of Leeds on the map of Great Britain.
This new mixed-use complex arose just a stone’s throw from Leeds railway station. It was built on on the area previously designated for the 54-story Lumiere skyscraper, which would have been the largest UK’s residential building outside of London. But after the Lumiere project was put into liquidation in 2010 after banks stopped lending real estate credits due to the market crisis. The Central Square, construction of which was planned in place of the Lumiere was intended to breathe new life into an area benefiting from the recovery of commercial real estate in Leeds.
Central Square is strategically located between Whitehall Road and Wellington Street. The investment covers an area of 20,400 sq m, of which 18,700 sq m is occupied by A class offices, and the remaining 1,700 sq m for retail and services.
The complex has office rooms on 10 of its floors. The offices are arranged in a way that allows them to be freely divided, providing tenants with flexible and highly efficient space. On the 9th floor an outdoor garden with a gym and a view of the city was created. The steel frame that forms a U-shaped structure houses a fully glazed winter garden inside.
The winter garden’s glazing goes down to the lower edge of the eighth level in the central part of the structure. Glazing is supported by five latticed steel ropes, each 27 meters long, which were delivered to the site in parts and then assembled as a natural boundary of the inner zone of the complex. With attention Due to the high loads on the ropes, the grating is connected with a ground level base weighing one tonne. Due to their location, the steel structure of the complex had to be erected above the eighth floor for the installation of the rigging.
The largest steel element of the project is the Vierendeel grate, which supports the eighth-floor balcony overlooking the conservatory. The Vierendeel grate was brought into place in individual sections which were then assembled on the ground before being lifted into place with a 300 ton mobile crane.
Ground and first floor of the complex are fully glazed from the outside and have numerous shops, bars, restaurants and recreation areas. The offices are starting at the second floor and go up to a twelfth floor. From the second to the seventh floors, they are located identical inside the U-shaped steel structure that forms the core of the building, as is the winter garden. The reception desk for offices is located on the first floor and is accessible via an escalator. Upper floors can be accessed via several lifts, including two glass wall lifts, which overlook the winter garden.
The eighth floor has a large balcony providing great view on the winter garden and is the last office-only floor within the investment. On the floors 10, 11 and 12 offices exclusively the east side of the building, while its other half is occupied by an open-air garden.
Central Square is aiming for a BREEAM 'Outstanding' rating and is scheduled for completion in May 2016. Collaborative 3D modeling was used in this project from the planning to the construction. All teams used compatible 3D modeling packages, and designers in turns developed models with the required level of detail for each of the complex elements.