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GG LCOM exterior

Improved visitor experience, urban short-cut and pocket park

GG LCOM interior

Leeds College Of Music & St Peter's Square

Leeds College of Music is the largest conservatoire outside of London, offering courses, concerts, performances and classes to a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds. This dextrous expansion expands their space in order to create an inspiring welcome to visitors to one of the city’s most important concert venues, adding facilities to support the College’s out-reach programme and giving them greater civic presence on the street.

The Venue, a 350-seat auditorium, is in a prominent location in Leeds’ cultural quarter, and sits above the BBC, in an adjacent building to the main college and accessed via a bridge link. Group Ginger’s design refurbishes and extends the existing foyer facilities for The Venue and adds a new storey, housing a rooftop extension.

The additional floor creates a single large volume which can be subdivided into flexible spaces for conference and teaching activities. The new attic lounge is fully glazed to offer expansive views across the city horizon. A full height theatrical curtain provides informal control of space, light and acoustics internally whilst external brise soleil reduce the solar gain by seventy percent. The spaces position Leeds College of Music as a destination in the city; celebrating their roof top elevated position; accessible and attractive to multiple audiences and college students.

To maximise the space and work within the constraints of the existing building, the new steel structure spans from an internal shear wall to the existing concrete perimeter ring beam. The columns, glazing module and external brise soleil are carefully coordinated to not impede the views out or close down the rooftop space.

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GG LCOM curtain
GG LCOM Louvres
Gg leedscollegemusic Jazzfestival
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St Peter's Square
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At street level, St Peters Square, is transformed from an underutilised forecourt into a new welcoming public space, acting as an inviting, permissive and fun gateway to the college and the wider cultural quarter which also includes the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Yorkshire Dance, BBC Yorkshire, and Northern Ballet. The new pocket park draws on themes of performance to create a playful green space offering an informal additional stage for organised or impromptu outdoor performance. Visitors become actors in the space, and their activity is encouraged rather than controlled. Illuminated after dark like a garden party the celebratory permissive themes continue through all hours of the day and night.

Gg leedscollegemusic bar
Gg leedscollegemusic entrance



Leeds College of Music and Napier Capital

Structural Engineers



Completed 2017


ESH Construction

Group Ginger’s sustainable approach often involves densifying the use of buildings for urban resilience.

The complexity of the project was both in providing spaces that could offer added value, while working on a constrained urban site. The venue can be divided into four distinctive spaces or used as one, giving the college a new revenue stream for conferencing, as well as a flexible teaching environment. The complicated and delicate build project was delivered during term time, with Group Ginger working with the college and BBC to avoid disruption to their operations.

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