City House

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City House
City Station.jpg
General information
Location Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Coordinates 53°47′42″N 1°32′48″W / 53.7949°N 1.5468°W / 53.7949; -1.5468Coordinates: 53°47′42″N 1°32′48″W / 53.7949°N 1.5468°W / 53.7949; -1.5468
Completed 1962
Roof 52 m (171 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 12 (plus the storeys of Leeds City railway station)
Design and construction
Architect John Poulson[1]
Developer British Railways
Main contractor Taylor Woodrow[2]

City House is a building over Leeds railway station that was built as British Railways House in 1962.[1][3] The buildings were, like many other railway buildings in the UK, designed by the subsequently disgraced architect John Poulson. Poulson also designed the Leeds International Swimming Pool. Upon its construction it was famously lambasted by the poet John Betjeman, who said that the building blocked all the light out of City Square and was only a testament to money, having no architectural merit. He made similar criticism in 1968.[4]

The building was bought by a property company, Kenmore, in 2006 with a view to regenerating what it described as a "tired and dilapidated" building. Kenmore received planning permission in 2008 to extend the building at the back (on the south side) and re-clad it in glazed curtain walling. The scheme was due to be completed in 2009.[1] However Kenmore went into liquidation in 2009 before the scheme had started.[5] A December 2011 photo shows little change from the 2008 image (right).[6]

In 2010 the building was bought by office property company Bruntwood which plans to redevelop it.[7] Planning permission for the refurbishment was granted by Leeds City Council on 13 October 2011.[8] Bruntwood's brochure for the redevelopment claims that:

"our aim is to transform this neglected property into a new high-profile business destination, creating office space to suit all sizes and types of organisation. The exterior of the building will be given a striking new look with contemporary curtain wall glazing. On the inside, the offices will be completely refurbished with the upper floors also boasting unrivalled panoramic views across the city".[9]

Bruntwood will probably not start redevelopment of the building until it has a pre-let for some of the space and an agreement with Network Rail about improvements to the station's South Concourse, which is next to City House.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Scott, Nigel (18 August 2008). "Unpopular Leeds landmark City House set for 'striking' redesign", Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved on 22 November 2008.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Network Rail. "Leeds Station Timeline". Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Wainwright, Martin (16 February 2009). "BBC revives unaired Betjeman film forgotten for 40 years". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 June 2012. See 01:39-55 in the embedded video 
  5. ^ "Kenmore Property Group goes into administration owing Lloyds Banking Group £700 million". 18 November 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Stephen Richards (photographer) (3 December 2011). "City House, New Station Street, Leeds". Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Bruntwood Look To Leeds Redevelopment". 29 June 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Refurbishment of 14 storey offices including new lift and Mezzanine level extension" (PDF). Leeds City Council. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Bruntwood (March 2012). "City House". Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Insider Media Ltd (19 January 2012). "Bruntwood calls for Leeds station guarantees". Retrieved 17 June 2012. 

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