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‘Risky’ Miralles replaced in Leeds

July 29th, 2010

leeds-shopping-centreChapman Taylor’s revised design for a £350 million Leeds shopping centre has been attacked by the architects the firm replaced.

The firm’s designs have now been revealed for the first time after the recession-hit Trinity Leeds shopping centre was this week finally given the go-ahead by Land Securities – 11 years after it first made the drawing board.

The developer bought the 70,000sq m city centre site from its former partner Caddick three years ago, and dropped the original architects, EMBT and Colchester practice Stanley Bragg, because it wanted something “more deliverable”.

The job was originally won in 1999 by Stanley Bragg which invited EMBT to work on the roof along with facade and landscaping work.

It turned out to be one of the last projects by Enric Miralles, who died in 2000. His widow, Benedetta Tagliabue, told BD his plans had now been replaced by something more “banal”.

She added: “It’s a missed opportunity for Leeds to have a very special building.”

In one of its earliest design reviews, Cabe praised Miralles’s “bold and confident” roof design. Despite this the EMBT/Stanley Bragg team was dropped in 2007.

But Chapman Taylor director Adrian Griffiths said its design addressed the street better than its predecessor which he described as “very challenging and very costly”.

Chapman Taylor will move staff from its Media City scheme, winding up in Manchester, across the Pennines to Leeds.

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