A fountain and war memorial maintained by West Leeds volunteers are rubbing shoulders with the multi-million pound Victoria Gate development after being shortlisted for a top award.
The awards promote and showcase best practice in architecture and design in the city.
And Pad 71, a chic showroom selling wooden furniture on Commercial Road in Kirkstall, has been shortlisted in the best conserved building.
They join the John Lewis development and the new Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility in east Leeds among the schemes shortlisted for an award.
Drink and Be Grateful Fountain
The fountain is maintained by volunteers from Kirkstall in Bloom (KiB), who give countless hours of their time to maintain the area – and whose efforts gained them recognition from Yorkshire in Bloom judges this summer. Earlier this year a mural was put together on the site by volunteers and local social enterprise Seagulls Paint.
— West Leeds Dispatch (@WLDispatch) July 9, 2016
KiB secretary James Corah said:
“It has been quite a surprise to be shortlisted for this category in the Leeds Architecture Awards, since our committee members found our there’s been a lot of shock and amazement.
“We didn’t set out to be shortlisted, we just wanted to make our community look blooming marvellous, and we’d encourage everyone to get involved with volunteering.”
Mr Carah paid tribute to the support of the Kirkstall community. He added:
“Being shortlisted represents the efforts and support of the large community of people and organisations that Kirkstall in Bloom are involved with.
“Our volunteers are awesome and make our community gardening fun; Seagulls Mosaic have been fabulous, and to all the members of the community who made the mosaic, you did amazing work; Kirkstall Valley Community Association and our partner community groups, and our ward councillors have all provided so much support and guidance and Leeds City Council have been really wonderful.”
This shortlisting comes at the end of an incredible year for Kirkstall in Bloom. The group was given a ‘Level 3 – Advancing’ award by Yorkshire in Bloom in September.
Bramley War Memorial
The £100,000 obelisk that sits on the edge of Bramley Park was paid for through a two-year local fundraising campaign by committed volunteers, local businesses and council grants.
The 12-tonne structure is situated at the entrance Bramley Park was unveiled two years ago.
It names fallen servicemen from Bramley, Stanningley and Rodley and has become a focal point for the community and a point of Remembrance. It bears witness to the brave people of the area who fell from 1900 to 2011.
Rodley resident John Barker is one of the volunteers behind the Friends of Bramley War Memorial group – and was surprised by the award nomination. He said:
“We are delighted to be shortlisted as both a stunning piece of architecture and a central place for year-round Remembrance in the community.
“We would also wish to mention the ongoing support from the community, relatives of the fallen and local councillors.”
The monument has helped commemorate Remembrance Sundays, Armistice Days, VE Day, VJ Day and both family commemorations and anniversaries of specific actions.
The judging panel, chaired by guest assessor Kit Martin, visited each of the shortlisted schemes before deciding on the winners in each of the main categories. Kit, the son of Architects Leslie Martin and Sadie Speight, has spent a lifetime conserving historic buildings.
The judging panel also includes representatives from the Leeds Society of Architects, Leeds Civic Trust, Institute of Historic Buildings Restoration, the Landscape Institute and Leeds Beckett University.
Guest assessor Mr Martin said:
“It is astonishing that, in just three years, there are so many outstanding projects in every category. With the high standard of entries there was robust discussion among the judging panel, and consensus was reached for a number of outstanding winners.”
The winners will be announced in March at a glittering ceremony in Leeds Town Hall. The full shortlist can be read here.