Regulated by RICS

The chance to design and fit out such a prolific space does not come around often, nor does the opportunity to work in a space with such a prominent location in the heart of Leeds city centre.

The idea behind the project was simple. We were set to transform a paved roof area on the ninth floor of the Central Square office building into a flexible breakout and entertainment space that benefitted from the incredible city views. As with any fit out of a prominent city centre building, there was pressure to convert the space sympathetically and in line with the existing architecture of the building. We were working in a live office environment, presenting issues around access considerations for movement of materials to the ninth floor, as well as planning liaison with adjacent residential apartments.

In this fit out, our priority was to preserve the view. This presented an immediate challenge, as the way the space was designed needed considerable work. In addition to prioritising the view, we chose to prioritise the aesthetics of the building. As a future space for tenants to relax at their convenience, the area needed to feel both inviting and efficient. We uplifted (and later relayed) all of the original granite paving, and integrated concealed underfloor electrical cabling and irrigation pipework to supply the Sky Garden whilst preserving the aesthetics. Bespoke handmade planters concealed additional electronics. Additional lights were added around the planters and central feature pergola to truly illuminate the view.

Making the space fully functional for a variety of uses largely came down to the furniture. Every piece of furniture within the new space is entirely bespoke. We incorporated high quality Iroko bench style seating, high tables and coffee tables with recessed LEDs, and metal wire chairs and stalls. The electric and water arrangement allows a temporary bar to be installed for events.

We planted trees, hedges and shrubbery and finished the space off with a bespoke feature – an illuminated pergola recessed into planters to frame the city views.

The contractor was Morris & Spottiswood.

As the Northern Powerhouse gathers steam, we expect continued investment in the area. We hope this is the first of many similar projects we are set to complete in the area.