Architecture is being brought to the masses this spring thanks to a joint venture by the Leeds Society of Architects and RIBA Yorkshire.
They will be taking over two retail units in the Victoria Gate shopping centre in Leeds city centre. It’s an apt location as the striking arcade, designed by ACME, won a Royal Institute of British Architects National award and was named RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year last year.
One of the units will host an exhibition curated by Leeds Society of Architects practices entitled “Architecture Leeds”. It runs from April 14 to May 13 and will showcase the work of more than 30 Leeds- based architecture practices, while celebrating the wealth of design talent in the city.
The other unit will be transformed into a pop-up studio for Architect in the Arcade, which will give members of the public the chance to meet with a RIBA chartered architect for a free 30-minute design consultation, which must be booked in advance.
Emma England, Partnership manager at RIBA Yorkshire, says: “People can bring any home or design-related query, whether they are seeking advice on how to create space for a growing family or the best way to allow more light into their home. The projects do not have to be ‘Grand Designs’.
“Those who book a slot are encouraged to bring any photographs and plans that might be useful.”
The consultations will run on April 15, 21, 22 and 28 from 10am-3pm. To book visit https://tinyurl.com/Archinarcade
Lego lovers are also in for a treat as on Wednesday April 11 between 11am and 3pm, RIBA Yorkshire is staging a Fantastical Cities Lego workshop aimed at inspiring architects of the future.
Children will be encouraged to let their imaginations run wild as they are challenged to build fantasy cities with the help of architecture students from Leeds Beckett University and members of the LSA.
RIBA President Ben Derbyshire says: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for RIBA Yorkshire. Leeds is a wonderful, vibrant city and I am thrilled that architecture will take centre stage in Victoria Gate, which is a premier retail destination.
“I am a great believer in collaborative local activism to improve the quality of the built environment. The exhibition curated by the Leeds Society of Architects will, I hope, help to promote architecture to a new audience and demonstrate the positive impact that architecture can have on people’s lives.”
Co-Chair of the Leeds Society of Architects and Director at Arkle Boyce Architects, James Arkle, adds: “The LSA is delighted to curate an exhibition to celebrate the very talented work of architects in the Leeds region.
“Supported by the exciting events such as Architect in the Arcade, it will be an opportunity for members of the general public to engage with the profession and see the wide variety of the work that we collectively create.
“Everyone has a dream project for their home and Architect in the Arcade is a great first step towards making that dream a reality, whether you’ve been considering an improvement to your property but haven’t looked into it or you have simply never thought of using an architect.
“It’s a great opportunity to show people the benefits of consulting an architect and to show that our work isn’t just about iconic public buildings. It doesn’t matter if your home is big or small – architects can help get more out of it.”
The exhibition and events are supported by Delta Light, which has provided the lighting scheme for the two units, and Orangebox, which has furnished the spaces.
*Architecture Leeds is at Unit 26 Victoria Gate, from April 14 to May 13, from 10am to 4pm. Architect in the Arcade is at Unit 27 on April 15, 21, 22 and 28 from 10am to 3pm and 30 minute free consultations can be booked at https://tinyurl.com/Archinarcade
*The Royal Institute of British Architects is a global professional body dedicated to delivering better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. To find a RIBA architect visit www.architecture.com.