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University of Leeds Law School
Leeds, UK

An environmentally responsive new faculty building

Broadway Malyan was appointed by the University of Leeds to design state of the art working and learning facilities within an environmentally responsible building for the University’s School of Law.

The new Liberty Building was designed in full consultation with the University’s user groups, the local community and conservation groups to ensure that it is both fit for purpose and flexible enough to accommodate the future expansion and changing needs of the University and the School of Law.

Previously housed in scattered and outdated accommodation, the School of Law now enjoys a cohesive environment formed of a series of light filled spaces for students and researchers to interact, collaborate and relax.

Design The Liberty Building is set on a sloping site at the north-east of the Broadway Malyan masterplanned University of Leeds’ Western Campus. The massing breaks down from a more protected brick building to the north to a glazed and open building to the south.

This approach solved a number of design issues, allowing the northern section of the building to continue the traditional street-front and enclose the more protected teaching environments, while the transparency of the southern part contains the common rooms and opens the building into the green at the heart of the Western Campus. In addition to the Law School the building also houses the University’s Law School on the ground floor.

Slim spun concrete columns - the first application of this technology in the UK - create an elegant and inviting entrance colonnade facing the green. They give the building a lightness and openness which continues in the building itself through a dramatic three storey atrium. Glazed offices open onto and look over this space, helping to bring the environment to life.

Energy efficiency was central to the design, with a natural ventilation strategy incorporating ventilation stacks, allowing fresh air to be brought into all offices. As a result of this integrated approach to design, the BREEAM Very Good rated building has provided the University with excellent value for money, generating 5,500m2 of floor space and a basement car park for a total project cost of £9.6m.

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