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Green light for Sheppard Robson's university scheme - images

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Sheppard Robson has won the go-ahead for this £130 million business and law faculty for Leeds Metropolitan University.

The scheme, the first phase of the Portland Gate development behind Leeds' famous Grade II-listed Civic Hall, will create 11,800m 2of teaching space, lecture theatres and offices.

Dubbed the Rose Bowl, the project will include a central, cylindrical auditorium - or 'theatre pod' - which will house one 250-seat, two 140-seat and four 60-seat lecture halls.

This pod will be linked to the main office and teaching space through a series of bridges which will cross a semi-public atrium.

There are also plans for a two-storey underground car park and hard-landscape scheme 'to enhance the public realm'.

Rod McAllister, practice partner and design director for the project, said: '[This scheme] will literally reflect the Civic Hall and the Leeds skyline and serve figuratively to unite the civic and education quarters of Leeds.'

It is understood the development is part of a major reshuffle for the university, which includes the revamp of the nearby former BBC building on Woodhouse Lane.

It was originally hoped the project, which was unveiled in February ( Sheppard Robson unveils lecture hall designs in Leeds), would start on site this summer, however construction is not now expected to begin until March.

The first students are expected through the door in 2008.

by Richard Waite

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