Design experts to test Leeds Kirkstall Forge homes

The homes set to be built by CEG at Kirkstall Forge
The homes set to be built by CEG at Kirkstall Forge
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Pioneering idea to ensure new homes are perfect

CEG has announced a pioneering plan to “road test” its new-build homes to ensure they are practically perfect in every way.

Work is due to start on two prototype properties at its £400 million flagship Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds.

When it completes late summer, members of the design team will stay in the fully-furnished three and five-bedroom homes so they can rigorously test everything from the layout to the fit-out.

Following their feedback, improvements will be made to finesse the final product before

construction begins on the first phase of residential development at the site.

This will comprise of 112 contemporary homes, which have been designed by Stirling Prize winning architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Offering a sturdy and contemporary style of architecture, the houses have been designed to pay reference to the local stone of the old forge building and Kirkstall Abbey.

Natural light and a feeling of space, both known to enhance well-being, have been maximised thanks to the use of high ceilings and tall windows.

Offering open plan living, the properties will also open out onto gardens and terraces across different floors, with roof verandas providing fantastic views of the valley.

Aisling Ramshaw, head of sales and marketing at Kirkstall Forge, said: “These prototype houses are important as they will help to ensure every detail of the design has been considered and tested.

“How many times do you walk into a home and think, ‘why has the architect put that there?’.

“Often what looks great on plan can be very different in terms of the practical use of a space. By living in these homes our team will put all aspects of the design thinking to the

test.”

The opening of a new railway station at Kirkstall Forge, which connects to Leeds within six minutes, has attracted a lot of interest in the redevelopment of the former industrial area.

But CEG’s decision to ensure Kirkstall Forge is “Different by Design” has also contributed to the popularity of the mixed use site.

The firm’s 110,000 sq ft office development was 90 per cent let less than a year from completion, securing the prestigious British Council of Offices best UK Commercial Workplace award.

Kirkstall Forge has 57-acres and is one of the largest brownfield sites under construction in the north and the most ambitious scheme in the Leeds development pipeline.

Its 800-year industrial heritage is making way for a mixed-use community set in the wooded riverside valley.

When complete, it will have 1,050 new homes, offices and retail, leisure and community space.

A Kirkstall Forge Life team now runs regular health and fitness events, social activities, walking and biking clubs, as well as managing cycle and scooter hire and encouraging the 1,000 people who already work at the site to travel sustainably.

James Shimwell, head of residential development at Kirkstall Forge, said: “Kirkstall Forge is designed to bring to life a connected community for business, residents and visitors.”

Keith Bradley, Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, added: “We are delivering a whole new neighbourhood with reference to the likes of Saltaire, which historically provided a place to live, work and enjoy.”