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Innovative New Benches in Leeds at Brewery Wharf

Boa benches have been used to help animate a small, paved under-used space directly on Leeds waterfront in the Calls area of the Leeds city centre.

The Calls is a popular waterside location, attracting many creative and design professionals as an ideal location for work and leisure. It was one of the first areas of Leeds to develop as an ideal location for city centre living, and has since been named by The Times as one of the top “30 coolest places to live in Britain”.

Working with LeedsBID, Yorkshire Design Group, the property and regeneration experts who played a key role in the regeneration of Leeds’ waterfront over 25 years ago, recently initiated a program of imaginative improvements to the streetscape and public spaces in the Calls area.

One of the aims is to create well-designed additions to outdoor spaces that further support the collaborative working and sharing of ideas between creative and design professionals, whilst also offering something to those who live in and visit the area.

The space is on a key pedestrian route from the city centre to the Royal Armouries museum and Leeds Dock. Lots of families cross the river using the pedestrian bridge adjacent to this area, on their way to attractions in the South Bank of Leeds.

Due to the city’s compact nature and shopping-dominated pedestrian core, Leeds currently has very little space which allows children to play. The bright colour and playful form of the Boa benches encourages incidental play and creates a spot to pause and enjoy the river and surroundings.

The Boa benches were sourced from innovative company Out-Sider, specialising in street furniture, based in Copenhagen, and 100% funded by LeedsBID as part of a wider shared investment in the public realm. Landscape architects Laand Ltd consulted on the installation.

Paul Ellison, MD of Yorkshire Design Group said “it’s been a pleasure to work on this project, as it has been a simple but successful intervention using great design in the right place. Only ten minutes after we installed them, they were already in use, and have since been happily adopted by the creative community that lives and works here, as well as visitors to the waterfront.”

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