Sir William Henry Bragg Building

  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius
  • © Paul Karalius

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Highly Commended


Yorkshire & Humberside

Local Authority Area


Information about this scheme

The Sir William Henry Bragg building provides a new gateway to physical science, providing access for industry and outreach for school children and the wider University community. The new centre creates a new community heart space and assists with wayfinding and movement to the other physical sciences and engineering schools on multiple levels. It provides attractive routes to the main campus beyond and brings life to an existing Grade II listed asset. The development delivers a state-of-the-art new learning, teaching, and research facility with a play of appropriate massing, materials, complexity of elevations, and detailing. New landscaping creates a welcoming foreground to the retained façade of the Old Mining building, providing a public space onto the periphery of the campus and main road. removing car parking and day-to-day servicing and introducing spaces for students, staff, and visitors to meet, socialise, and be active. The landscape encourages wildlife and biodiversity and creates attractive, varied spaces for reflection and wellbeing. The public realm is further enhanced by new public art installations – a commissioned sculpture attached to the west-facing gable of the building and lighting installations within the foreground of the public realm. Accommodation includes a new reception, a large central atrium full of social activity, a new café, communal learning spaces for students and staff, new teaching facilities, technical research labs, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, training and meeting rooms, student support, and an information centre. The building offers clear vertical circulation and a social ribbon of break-out and drop-in spaces. Driven by the masterplan and site context, the scale and massing of the building sits comfortably within its conservation area context, the new building modulates and rises in scale to the post-war schools of engineering to the north. The existing Old Mining Building is retained and a new upper storey with a picture-window glazed perimeter added to increase scale and usability.

Judges’ Comments:

“The building makes a significant contribution to both the university and the city as a whole. It sits effortlessly into its context and is a worthy addition to Leeds.”



University of Leeds

Main Contractor


Structural Engineer


Services Engineer




Quantity Surveyor

Gardiner & Theobald

Project Manager


Primary Use Class

Class D1c - Education