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Assorted Skills + Talents wins approval for Leeds ‘High Line’ homes

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Manchester studio buddies Assorted Skills + Talents (AS+T) and Jeffrey Bell Architects have won approval for the £50 million second phase of the Leeds Monk Bridge scheme featuring a park similar to New York’s High Line

Assorted Skills + Talents was founded last summer by former Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher (CJCT) design director Chris Boyce, who has now taken control of the latest chunk of the huge residential scheme initiated by his former practice.

The practice is working on the Monk Bridge project with Jeffrey Bell Architects – which was founded seven years ago by the former Stephenson Bell Architects director – from the practices’ shared office space at Cobourg Street in Manchester.

CJCT won the job following an invited competition in 2016 before securing outline planning permission last year for five blocks ranging from 12 to 21 storeys next to the abandoned Grade II-listed 19th-century viaduct. 

This huge stone structure will be transformed into a public park with its 18 arches developed into a night-time destination of bars and restaurants. CJCT will continue to deliver phase one of the overall project, consisting of 307 apartments for private rent across three dedicated blocks.

But AS+T with Jeffrey Bell will take forward the remaining section, featuring 357 build-to-rent apartments over two blocks 16 and 21 storeys high (blocks D and E – see plan at bottom).

AS+T said the design followed the ‘familial aesthetic of phase one’ using ‘simple brickwork cantilevered corner balconies and rhythmic façades, rising to an expressed brickwork crown’.

The Monk Bridge scheme, backed by Alpha Real Trust and development managers Foundation Real Estate, will also create a public park on the viaduct, which is said to echo the High Line in New York.

Boyce told the AJ: ‘This stone viaduct has been derelict for 60 years and will now become a park with bars and restaurants underneath. We are delighted to secure planning permission for a scheme that is all about placemaking in Leeds.’

Project data

Location Whitehall Road, Leeds – former Doncaster Steel Works site and Monskbridge Viaduct
Type of project Build to rent and private apartments
Client Alpha Real Trust and Foundation
Architect Associated Skills + Talents with Jeffrey Bell Architects
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald
Landscape architect Ares
Planning consultant ID planning
Structural engineer Roscoe
M&E consultant Buro Happold
Main contractor Sir Robert Mclpine
Start on site date 2019
Completion date TBC
Gross internal floor area 48,000m² 
Total cost £50 million

Aj plans viaduct level

Aj plans viaduct level

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