Central Square Leeds


The Brief

Wates Construction were chosen to deliver this mixed-use development in Leeds central business district. The building will be a 12-storey project, situated in a prime location close to Leeds railway station.

This project will provide 20,400 m² of total commercial space. This consisted of 18,700 m² Grade ‘A’ office space and 1,700 m² of retail and leisure space. The steel structure will form a U-shaped frame. The central void will be occupied by a fully glazed ‘Winter Garden’ in the atrium and an outdoor ‘Sky Garden’ on level 9.

Our Approach


    • The Central Square Leeds development has a glazed ‘Winter Garden’ formed by five 27m long tubular vertical bowstring trusses. They carry the dead load from the glazing. This meant design calculations for the frame were vital to the structure.
    • In addition, the project required a 43 tonne one storey high, Vierendeel truss, comprised of heavy UC members. Fabrication execution was important to ensure a high level of aesthetics, for these architecturally exposed features.
    • Site planning was a significant part of this project as the Bowstring trusses were transported in two pieces. The Vierendeel truss was transported in individual pieces then assembled on site.
    • This project involved a highly-considered erection strategy, including handling both Vierendeel and Bowstring trusses safely yet efficiently into place.
    • We deployed two erection teams for this project. We sequenced the project so that the teams would start work on opposing sides. They would then work from the outer frame to meet at the centre.


Central Square


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The Outcomes

The project achieved an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating, demonstrating our commitment to sustainable construction practices . This project has been recognised as as being a ‘landmark building in an exciting part of the public realm’.

Central Square was also recognised as:

  • Winner – Best of the Best – Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2017
  • Winner – Sustainability Project of the Year – Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber Awards 2017
  • Highly Commended – Design, Innovation & Creativity – Rise Awards 2017
  • Highly Commended – SSDA Awards 2017
    Shortlisted – BREEAM Award 2017
““The most challenging aspects of the steelwork design for Central Square involved the trusses. The two-storey deep Vierendeel truss spans across the width of the Winter Garden.”
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David Hill
WSP Technical Director
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