St Peter's Building

St Peters Building - Plan
St Peters Building - Plan
St Peters Building - Street View
St Peters Building - Street View
St Peters Building - Aerial View
St Peters Building - Aerial View
St Peters Building - Internal
St Peters Building - Internal
Project date
01.12.2009
Type
  • Architecture
  • Retrofit
Location
Yorkshire and the Humber
Clients
Yorkshire Forward and Kirklees Council
Associated team members
Associated documents

In December 2009, URBED were comissioned by Yorkshire Forward and Kirklees Council to consider the potential of St Peters Buildings - one of the most important sites in Huddersfield.

The St Peter’s buildings site, which includes the 1859 YMCA building, is located at the heart of Huddersfield, on the inside edge of one the town’s most important conservation areas and adjacent to a cluster of media/ cultural industries.

The site was bought by Yorkshire Forward in 2006 and was subsequently the subject of a development competition organised with Kirklees Council. The objectives outlines in the brief were:

  • achieve a new high quality town centre building;
  • secure new employment space in the form of offices and/ or managed workspace;
  • generate a new residential market in the St Peters Quarter;
  • improve the perception of Huddersfield;
  • create active ground floor uses for at least part of the frontage;
  • provide car parking without undermining street fronts;
  • embrace the principles of sustainable design and development.

A developer was appointed and developed a new build scheme matching the scale of the current building. Agreement could not be reached with the planning authority on the scale of the building which, combined with a weaker market, has meant that the selected development partner is no longer engaged with the site.

Our study arrived at a brief that is acceptable in planning terms and financially viable so that it can be taken forward by a development partner(s).

The St Peter’s building is an extraordinary structure entirely out of scale with its surroundings and unsympathetic to the neighbouring Methodist Church - a former YMCA. However it has been mellowed with age and accepted by the people of the town. The question is whether a precedent has been set by the scale of the structure and whether a modern building can match the quality of the original.

The site is close to the ring-road and is highly visible. The development brief therefore represents an opportunity to link the quality townscape of the Northumberland Street Conservation Area with the expansion of the eastern-edge of the town centre.