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Almost over: Alsop's Headingley pavilion takes shape

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Work is nearing completion on Alsop Sparch’s new 4,000m2 pavilion at Headingley, Leeds, the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC)

The brainchild of Will Alsop before his departure to RMJM, the Carnegie Pavilion’s facilities will be shared with Leeds Metropolitan University and is due to finish in June (2010).

Replacing the ‘substandard’ Wintershed and media centre facilities, the building will operate mainly as a university teaching faculty during the academic year and mainly as a cricket pavilion and press centre during the summer holidays.

The scheme won planning permission in September 2008.

Alsop Sparch’s new 4,000m2 Carnegie pavilion at Headingley, Leeds

Alsop Sparch’s new 4,000m2 Carnegie pavilion at Headingley, Leeds - as it will look when completed

Design statement


The pavilion’s 4,000m2 gross internal a is spread over five floors - including the lower ground - or four floors above ground level. The north face of the building generally adopts the building line of the existing Wintershed, which is deeply set back from Kirkstall Lane. To accommodate the larger spaces, on the south side, the upper floors are progressively cantilevered over the existing seating up to a maximum depth of 15m. The resulting Pavilion is roughly equivalent in scale to the relatively new East Stand that incorporates hotel facilities.

Due to the close proximity of the residential housing, along Kirkstall Lane and Cardigan Road respectively, the building is set back from its eastern boundary, and the floorplates are progressively set back at higher levels to maintain satisfactory daylight levels and to mitigate any potential overlooking issues.


The pavilion closely follows the building line of the existing Wintershed i.e. it is similarly set back from Kirkstall Lane – and orientated towards the test match wicket and existing seating - and, in so doing, peels away from Kirkstall Lane itself.

Between the boundary fence and the front of the new building is a landscaped space, visible from Kirkstall Lane. With the exception of the main entrance stair and ramp, a series of tilted triangular lawns slope gently down approximately 1.5m to the lower ground level, to bring maximum daylight into the new YCCC offices. The Lower Ground level ties in with the existing Covered Concourse - which sweeps around the outside of the stadium within its boundary - and the Headingley cricket pitch itself.

The main reception is located at the upper ground level (approximately 2m above Kirkstall Lane) to tie in with the top of the existing Lower Tier Stand. Disable access from Kirkstall Lane down to the Lower Ground level is via a ramp adjacent to the existing, approximately 2m high, brick, party wall. A 3m-wide stair and ramp link the main entrance gates to the main reception at uiper ground level.

The lower ground level is primarily occupied by YCCC office accommodation. The upper ground level is split in half by the central reception area, with Leeds Met Teaching Kitchen/ Hospitality to the west and YCCC players facilities to the east.

At first floor level the dual-use lecture rooms will be adopted as Corporate Hospitality boxes on match days, opening onto the new Upper Tier seating (replaces majority of existing seats lost in demolishing the Wintershed). The majority of the second floor is given over to similar flexible, dual-use lecture room/ corporate hospitality rooms. The exception to this is the 150 m2 stepped Auditorium: because of its larger volume it both breaks through to the level below and cantilevers outwards beyond the line of the inclined south facade. The Third Floor is primarily occupied by Leeds Met staff accommodation.


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