The first major new-build development since the launch of the Bradford city centre masterplan is about to be completed.

After 19 months of construction work, the Gatehaus, in Leeds Road, flanking Little Germany, is due for completion on Monday, October 22, when the curved living wall', a bold, fully-glazed tower, will be unveiled from behind a layer of scaffolding.

The £22 million scheme, which consists of 142 one to three-bedroom apartments, looks set to provide a boost to the economy as more people move into the city.

Regeneration bosses in Bradford say the completion of the landmark scheme is a significant step forward in the physical regeneration of the city and the delivery of the masterplan.

Tony Mobbs, managing director of Robinson Design Group, which worked on the scheme as architect, ground engineer and landscape designer, said: "Working with Asquith Properties on this prestigious project has been a privilege. We are all very proud of the result."

The building is a fusion of traditional stone and contemporary materials. The architects say the "innovative and extensive" use of glass and glazing technology has been justified within Little Germany's historic environment because "the design is of such a high quality".

Russell Baker, chairman of Asquith Properties, the company which is also behind the Citygate scheme on Manchester Road, said: "After years of planning and anticipation the city has a taste of what is to come."

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, portfolio holder for regeneration, said: "This is a striking gateway project to the city centre. It sets the standard and style for quality developments in the city centre.

"The Council and BCR (Bradford Centre Regeneration) are constantly asked about delivery and what we are now seeing is the start of the physical regeneration of the city."

Stephen Talboys, director of regeneration for BCR, said: "The completion of Gatehaus is a pivotal point in the renaissance of the city. This is the first new-build to be completed since the masterplan was launched in 2003.

"Gatehaus has created a distinctive and attractive building that will act as a gateway to the city centre."

The accommodation is in three elements - a curved glass shard rising to ten storeys, a five-storey curved living wall' fronting the main road, and a five-storey stone-clad block facing Little Germany. There is commercial space at street level, with below-ground parking for 100 cars.

In preparing the design, Robinson Architects, of Shipley, worked with Asquith Properties in conjunction with BCR, URBED and English Heritage.


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