The Victoria Quarter, Leeds
|Location||Leeds city centre, Leeds, England|
|No. of stores and services||80|
|No. of anchor tenants||3|
|Total retail floor area||1,100,000 sq ft (102,193 m2)|
|No. of floors||3|
Victoria Leeds is a shopping and leisure area in Leeds city centre. It combines the 1990 Victoria Quarter (an upmarket district of interconnected contemporary and restored Victorian shopping arcades) west of Vicar Lane and the 2016 Victoria Gate shopping centre east of Vicar Lane. It includes a casino and major stores such as Harvey Nichols and John Lewis and Partners, and the largest stained glass work in Britain, by artist Brian Clarke.
The Grade II* listed Victoria Quarter, known as 'the Knightsbridge of the North', is an upmarket network of interconnected shopping spaces covering three blocks between Briggate and Vicar Lane, comprising County Arcade, Cross Arcade, Queen Victoria Street (turned into an arcade in the 1989 redevelopment scheme through the pedestrianisation and glazing over of the street with a stained glass canopy) and King Edward Street. It opened as The Victoria Quarter in September 1990.
The County and Cross Arcades were built between 1898 and 1904, designed by the theatre architect Frank Matcham. They were notable for glazed barrel roofing decorated with copious amounts of faience from the Burmantofts Pottery, a number of mosaics and plentiful use of marble. Matcham's development included the Empire Theatre and all three constructions were in the same style: three storeys decorated in a free baroque style with pink and buff terracotta.
In 1961, the Empire Theatre was demolished to make way for another arcade in contemporary style. Having become dilapidated, the arcades were restored by Derek Latham & Co in phases between 1989 and 1996, and in 1989 Queen Victoria Street was glazed over in its entirety with a stained glass roof, at the time the largest work in that medium in the world, by British artist Brian Clarke. The work remains the largest stained glass window in Britain and Europe. The arcade that replaced the theatre was demolished and replaced by a branch of Harvey Nichols which opened in 1996, the first branch outside London.
Victoria Gate was built on an undeveloped site adjacent to Leeds Market. The £165 million covered shopping centre opened on 20 October 2016. The centre, fronting onto Eastgate, George Street and Harewood Street, comprises a large multi-storey car park, a John Lewis & Partners store, and a U-shaped covered pedestrian area of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The development incorporates Templar Square, a public space incorporating the listed Templar House.
A development known as Eastgate Quarters was announced in 2004, following several cancelled schemes for a site that had been derelict from the 1970s, located to the east of Leeds city centre. The 2004 Eastgate masterplan was developed by Terry Farrell and outline planning permission was obtained in 2007. A number of architects were appointed that year to design buildings in the masterplan, including the Jerde Partnership and Benoy for the Templar Arcade, Thomas Heatherwick for Harewood Quarter, ACME for the John Lewis Store and McAslan for buildings along Eastgate. The scheme was put on hold in late 2008. In 2010 Hammerson announced that work had commenced on a revised masterplan and in March 2011, an outline planning application for Eastgate Quarters developed by ACME was submitted to Leeds City Council. On 13 July 2011, planning permission was granted for the Hammerson scheme to proceed.
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