Diamond-shaped latticework covers Victoria Gate shopping centre by Acme

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.

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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.

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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.

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"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."

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

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Victoria Gate by Acme
Victoria Gate by Acme