• 9 November 2014

Victoria Gate

Waterman are providing multi-discipline services on Victoria Gate a 42,000m2 retail development in Leeds.

When built the 21st century inspired elegant retail arcade, Victoria Gate will add an additional 30 stores and restaurants to Hammerson’s retail portfolio in the city. The premium scheme is to be anchored by a flagship John Lewis, the brand’s first store in Leeds.

Victoria Gate is an exciting addition to the vibrant shopping scene in Leeds. The first phase will capture the heritage of the Victoria Quarter and offer a range of high quality and designer brands.

The detailed designs for Phase One include three main buildings:

  • A flagship John Lewis store, with a striking façade drawing on Leeds’ textile heritage
  • Victoria Gate Arcades, which comprises two buildings with stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure space in an elegantly designed two street arcade linking Victoria Quarter to the John Lewis store
  • A multi-storey car park for up to 850 cars

The striking features of the Arcades’ buildings are the glazed roof and the bespoke prefabricated brick and terracotta cladding. Extensive thermal modelling was undertaken of the arcade to enable the space to be naturally ventilated. We have developed a design which will maintain a comfortable environment in both the winter and summer. The development will enjoy significant energy savings when compared to other arcades which are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer.


The structure of the two Victoria Gate Arcades buildings is based on a steel frame with a variety of stability structures (concrete cores, moment frames and braced bays) to suit the complexity of the scheme. Extensive co-ordination with the cladding contractor and prospective glazed roof contractor has been carried out to accommodate their requirements.

The car park benefits from an innovative bespoke cladding system. Additionally, the structure of the building needs to accommodate challenging requirements to suit the existing Lady Beck culvert and a future tram route.

Waterman have also been appointed by Sir Robert McAlpine to complete the multi-disciplinary engineering services design as part of their design and build contract with additional expertise provided on the acoustics, fire engineering and transportation.

As a design and build project Waterman’s Fire Engineering team developed their designs from the clients Stage D report. Using dynamic CFD modelling the mall smoke ventilation system was developed to enhance freedom in design choices for both the facades and roof structure. Another significant element of the scheme is the John Lewis Partnership anchor store which incorporates a large atrium throughout the building. Again CFD analysis informed the developing design to help understand the maximum period of time available to the onset of untenable conditions throughout the building.

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