What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire?
A good indication of the health of the city’s property sector is the number and variety of long awaited major projects currently under construction such as the office based masterplans at Wellington Place and Sovereign Street, Hammerson’s Victoria Gate Shopping Centre, and the emerging education quarter south of the river. At Brewster Bye we are experiencing first-hand the rejuvenation of the Leeds’s property sector with the number of projects currently being conceived and delivered within the city centre.
What is your favourite building in the region and why?
The strong concept of intersecting planes and angles which characterise the visitor centre at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park inspired a number of my early projects and its elegance and setting make it a building I still love to visit today. I will also be supporting the new Laidlaw Library at the University of Leeds in this year’s RIBA Yorkshire awards due to its rich materiality, detailing and enhancement of the surrounding streetscape.
If you could change one thing to improve the property industry in this region, what would it be?
The recent Leeds Trolleybus debacle is the latest blow to the city’s strained infrastructure. Five of our main rival cities in the north of England are now delivering extensions and additional lines to their systems meaning we are in danger of being left behind. Visitors to modern cities expect to use modern transport systems.
Whom do you most admire in property in Yorkshire?
I admire all design professionals, decision makers and clients committed to providing high quality modern design to complement Leeds’ rich heritage. Recent proposals such as the redevelopment of the derelict Tower Works site, show encouraging signs about how the city’s past and future can be successfully moulded.
What is the best project you have been involved in?
Spending four months working at a contemporary practice in Cyprus was unforgettable, however after returning to Leeds I wanted to be involved in shaping the future of my hometown. Since joining Brewster Bye I have been fortunate to work with some great local clients and projects, including the recently completed IconInc luxury student accommodation on Burley Road and the proposed residential and retail development on the former Walkabout site.