Dezeen Magazine

Diamond-shaped latticework covers Victoria Gate shopping centre by Acme

London firm Acme has completed a shopping centre in Leeds, England, featuring a white latticed concrete facade and an interior modelled on old-fashioned arcades.


Victoria Gate contains a mixture of arcade-like covered shopping streets, a car park and a flagship for the department store John Lewis.

The centrepiece of the Acme-designed complex is the diagrid facade of the flagship, which is made from diagonal struts of etched concrete.


Internally, the rest of the of the shopping centre is designed to reference Leeds' historic shopping arcades. It features wide walkways paved with zigzag-patterned stonework, curving glass shopfronts and a roof of latticed steel and glass that floods the space with natural light.


"We have worked hard to create buildings that are specific to their place and time, and unmistakably a part of Leeds," said Acme director Friedrich Ludewig, who worked on the £165 million project with the developer Hammerson.

"While malls can be indistinguishable indoor worlds, arcades are covered external streets with real facades and a great sense of order and rhythm."


The John Lewis building features five shopping floors and a rooftop restaurant – making it the tallest post-war department store in the UK outside of London.

Panes of glass set into the diagonal facade illuminate some area areas of the building, while bronze- and ivory-coloured terracotta infills block the light in others. The building is connected to the arcades by a glazed link.


Next door to John Lewis, the main body of the Victoria Gate shopping centre is influenced by the art deco and Victorian buildings that surround the site.


The pleated facade, made from terracotta and rust-toned metals, is designed to create dramatic shadows across the building.


A multi-storey car park with 800 spaces is set on one corner of the development and features a facade made up of hundreds of twisting aluminium fins.

These strips of metal are spaced to allow natural ventilation and daylight to shine through.

For job opportunities at Acme, visit their company profile on Dezeen Jobs.

Photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

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Victoria Gate by Acme
Victoria Gate by Acme