We're thrilled to announce that our Climate Innovation District phase 2 just won the 2017 Housing Design Awards! These awards have been running since 1948 and really are the Oscars for housing design fanatics like us. Normally it's London developments that take the top spots, but this year we managed to bag a historic first; the first Leeds project to win a housing design award for placemaking.
The Climate Innovation District is an exciting new development on a formerly derelict industrial site in central Leeds. Our aim is to transform a closed off area into a vibrant community space, totally car free and low-carbon.
We were up against some absolutely sensational other developments from across the UK, over 180 in total. So we'd like to say a massive thank you to the judges that saw the same phenomenal potential in the Climate Innovation District phase 2 as we do. They deemed it "the most fascinating entry in this years awards" and we don't disagree!
Jonathan Wilson our Development Director brought home the award. He said he was “honoured to have received this fantastic Project Award at the Housing Design Awards for a genuinely innovative design. The project offers an enormous opportunity for Leeds to be the first city in the UK to create an ecologically pioneering district of this scale.”
Our incredible architect Alex Melhuish from Ollier Smurthwaite also deserves a massive chunk of the credit for helping us realise our vision. Their expertise was essential for us to be able to actualise our design.
We asked Alex his thoughts on the big win, and he told us that "Winning a Housing Design Award is a fantastic achievement. The ambitious proposals for the Climate Innovation District are pushing the boundaries of what residential architecture can be in this country, so it is great to be recognised for it on a national stage. The scheme now forms part of a library of outstanding projects collated by the awards and its promoters which include government agencies and design institutes, so it will hopefully inspire others to tackle challenging sites with more sustainable and innovative solutions.”
We like to do things differently at Citu, and the Climate Innovation District is our boldest project yet. It is the largest sustainable development project in the UK and will give residents the chance to live by otters and kingfishers just a short stroll away from Leeds City Centre. It is one part of our wider ambition to help regenerate the South Bank area of Leeds, the biggest regeneration opportunity in Europe.
But aside from the all important otter, what makes the Climate Innovation District's design so award worthy?
We're creating a development with a strong focus on communal living. To achieve this our design uses private terraces that open onto communal landscaped gardens. This greenery and public space will create an area to relax, recharge and connect with your neighbours. The goal is to completely transform how we think of city living. From anonymous faces in blocks of uninspired apartments to a true community in a beautifully designed landscape.
Car Free Landscape
Roads choked with traffic and air filled with fumes may be the current reality of many UK cities, but it's not the future. The Climate Innovation District is raised up to allow vehicles to pass underneath, creating a totally car and fume free landscape for the residents. The fact it is raised up also allowed the topography to become an innovative element of the design. By using changes in elevation to break up the landscape and highlight community shared spaces & gardens.
The over five hundred homes in the Climate Innovation District have been designed with families in mind. A mixture of apartments and houses with 1-4 bedrooms means there are homes to suit all needs. Open, communal spaces will allow children to play in a car-free environment, whilst the short walk into the city centre makes it ideal for those who work in the city. All Citu homes are built using to incredibly high standards of insulation and air-tightness, giving you far lower energy bills and help us make the development zero-carbon.
The development's innovative design has allowed for the incorporation of riverside public gardens, which Leeds City Council was keen to see in an area which historically has lacked any kind of community space. The gardens will form the landing point of a new pedestrian bridge over the river Aire and will enliven a previously neglected area of Leeds, benefiting both residents and the wider community.
Do you want to live in an award-winning and innovative new development that puts sustainability at its heart? Of course you do. So register your interest today. Or, if you want to know more about the Climate Innovation District you can take a look at our Masterplan for the development