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YTV Broadcasting & Production Station, Leeds

Part 2 Project 1999
Edward Highton
University of Huddersfield, UK
At macro level the building is conceived as a form of urban space; with the diagonal dissection of the plan reinforcing the existing visual axis between the Royal Armouries Museum and Crown Point Junction, while providing a public plaza at the building's entrance. This provision of public space and peripheral master planning provides an amenity area adjacent to the River Aire, and pedestrian linkage from Leeds city centre to the neighbouring museum via the proposed television centre, establishing the modern television centre as a public facility.

The initial generator of sectional form is environmental. The arcuated, articulated section forms a light diffusing external envelope with a southerly aspect. By reflecting light off the layered panels of the south facing façade, the inner face of the external envelope is naturally illuminated. The role of the external envelope is elevated beyond enclosure and is transformed into an active luminare. The arcuated section is further exploited to provide natural cross ventilation using a two layer southerly façade to induce temperature (and therefore atmospheric pressure) variations across the section.

The decision was taken to design for future technology changes and therefore internal adaptation. Internally the studios are stacked vertically to the East, defining the service entrance, and are expressed externally. The office and postproduction facilities are based on a 7.5m x 7.5m grid of self-stabilising floor bays. These floor bays utilise ‘dry’ construction to allow re-configuration of the internal arrangement throughout the buildings life, while the use of a main all-encompassing, self-stabilising, independent super structure suspends the permanent external shell.

Each internal floor bay can be independently serviced (for acoustic isolation) by feeding directly off vertical service ducts running up the North Façade within a service margin outside the structural grid, again allowing for internal adaptation.

In its urban context, aesthetic and technology, the scheme reflects the role of television as the focus of modern culture.

Edward Highton

Edward enjoys technology as an aesthetic and practical reality. His use of structure, environmental services and form transcend the functional and give meaning to his projects. It is a meaning which grows from time and place: time in the sense of being on the edge of the millennium; place in the sense of being somewhere specific. The former finds expression in Edward's mastery of CAD, especially as a liberating force in communicating architectural intention. Place finds expression in the response to context at a real and symbolic level. This student blends together unusual forces in his projects - environmental, tectonic, aesthetic and CAD. He is a student with his eye on the future as much as the present.

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