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Leeds Urban Space Station

Part 1 Project 2001
Kyle Henderson
Leeds Beckett University, UK
Our brief was to design a multifunctional building, containing accommodation for visiting architectural schools, a café and exhibition/studio space.
The site is long and narrow surrounded by buildings and provides access between a road and a neighboring churchyard. Due to the sites limited area I wanted to take up as little space as possible to encourage the existing link between the two areas. Utilising the back of the site giving space for a public square my intention was to define the three different areas clearly yet connect them all to form an integrated system of public and private spaces. Appearing as if floating, the solid timber clad living quarters rests on minimal support and cantilevers over the transparent public bar and bookshop at ground level. The bar opens out onto an exterior public square that provides the roof to the exhibition/studio space below ground. Lit by roof lights that encircle the entire square above, the exhibition space can be accessed through a secondary entrance when the rooms above are closed. This entrance runs parallel with the path that crosses the site linking the three areas of road, site and churchyard.

Kyle Henderson

At the start of each project, Kyle prepares a beautifully drawn sheet of possible solutions. In deciding which to pursue, he shows a good sense of priorities. His work is considerate and respectful of others’ interests, almost always proposing some form of benefit for the general public. He sees opportunities and possibilities that others overlook. He has very considerable flair.

He produced two projects in two contrasting styles. The first rippled with curves, as though alive, sending out shoots to root itself in the urban fabric. The second (an Urban Space Station for Leeds: a residential architecture centre, bookshop, café and exhibition space, designed to investigate and demonstrate the idea of autonomy in architecture) was so simplified as to inspire incredulity; a composition of internal and external cuboidal volumes cataloguing different types of urban space.

Enviably gifted to begin with, he is always eager to acquire new information and skills. He is able to marry technical and environmental concerns with sensitivity and consideration for aesthetics.

Throughout the many pressures of the final year of the Degree Course, he seemed to lead a gregarious, ordered existence, ensuring that hard work and leisure activities were well balanced.

• Page Hits: 1934         • Entry Date: 20 September 2001         • Last Update: 20 September 2001