Leeds City College


Leeds City Centre

Project Value



Seven Architecture


Sewell Construction

Project Brief

The Alf Cooke complex (1894), Leeds is one of the largest and best-preserved of the city’s print works.

The historic significance of the Print Hall needed to be protected and its long term future needed to be preserved, with new life breathed into the building while unlocking its potential.

A sensitive yet robust scheme needed to be delivered, developed to the constraints and opportunities offered by an existing listed building, while also meeting the requirements of a leading education provider.


Leeds City College Campus

Located within the emerging South Bank of Leeds City Centre, Leeds City College’s Print Hall provides a unique learning environment for its students and is set against the backdrop of the Grade II listed former Alf Cooke Printworks.

The design team consulted English Heritage, Leeds Civic Trust and the Victorian Society, which led to the retention of key features such as the decorative spiral staircase.

Due to the previous use of the site and the chemicals used in the printing process historically, it was established that the building contained a number of harmful contaminants including asbestos and carcinogenic materials.

A full programme of remediation was undertaken whilst the design was developed, which allowed the building to be cleaned to a safe standard, allowing works to commence on site without delays.

The duo-pitched roof over the main print hall was fully glazed at one side. The single glazing leaked and was in need of much repair. The suitable solution moving forward was to remove all of the glazing and replace it with double glazed panels to ensure it is water tight and environmentally economical for the buildings future use.

A detailed structural analysis was carried out before the replacement of the north light roof.

Phase 2 of the development for Leeds City College, saw the original Grade II listed building refurbished for use as a student refectory, Learning Resource Centre, hair and beauty salons and administration facilities