The Alf Cooke complex (1894), Leeds is one of the largest and best-preserved of the city’s print works. Phase 2 of this development for Leeds City College, will see the original Grade II listed building refurbished for use as a student refectory, Learning Resource Centre, hair and beauty salons and administration facilities.
Adept’s Senior Engineer, Martin Langhan says “Whilst the building defects present many structural challenges, it is a pleasure to work on a building of such local historical importance.”
The original three-storey building is of red brick construction with stone and terracotta detailing. The principal elevation comprises repetitive bays of windows, which vary alternately at ground floor level with the introduction of a series of single storey projections with a pediment and canopy above. This treatment is simplified to the south, east and west elevations. Attached to the south of the works is a four-storey brick building with sash windows typical of many mill buildings in the Victorian period. A large water tower and chimney are also prominent, particularly to this elevation, but also from a distance from all angles of approach.
Colour printing was an important Leeds industry and in 1885 Cooke was appointed by Queen Victoria as “Her Majesty’s Colour Printer”. In 1890 he was Mayor of Leeds.