Granary Wharf has been designed as a sustainable community focused on three buildings: a hotel and two apartment buildings. All are set within two acres of public space alongside the River Aire and Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
The scheme’s developer ISIS Waterside Regeneration, was established by British Waterways, igloo regeneration and Muse Developments to carry out renewal projects on waterside land and this was identified as a key site. It offered the potential to create a gateway into Leeds, produce a vibrant waterfront area, and reconnect the city centre to Holbeck Urban Village in the south.
The site was masterplanned by careyjones, which also designed one of the apartment buildings, Candle House. The other apartment building, Waterman’s Place was designed by CZWG Architects, while Allies and Morrison designed the City Inn Hotel. The public realm was designed by Capita Lovejoy.
The three buildings are designed to provide architectural diversity and variety while creating a cohesive whole. The building heights and massing are appropriate to the scheme’s city centre location and proximity to Leeds railway station, with building footprints developed to achieve 70 per cent open space across the site. The buildings complement one another in form and material, with brick facades that are sympathetic to the Granary Wharf viaduct and industrial precedents of warehouse and canalside architecture.
The residential blocks provide 182 private and affordable apartments of varying sizes to encourage establishment of a diverse community. Each building is designed to achieve an EcoHomes very good rating, and waste has been minimised through the use of modern methods of construction.
Waterman’s Place has a brick frontage, punctured by windows and raised from the ground to allow for maximum permeability to commercial units at ground level. Candle House has a strong cylindrical form that enlivens the Leeds skyline, standing out architecturally and structurally through its shape and the twisting composition of its brickwork and window pattern. It is topped by Leeds’ highest communal garden.
The project has also included the refurbishment of several railway arches, one of which is now occupied by a community hub for residents and visitors.