Invited design competition.

The University of Leeds is seeking expressions of interest from Architects, together with a Landscape Architect, for the design of a new statement building which will accommodate spaces for teaching & learning, collaborative & interdisciplinary working, educational outreach activities for diverse groups, student entrepreneurship, personal development and challenge.

The building will create a focal point for the University’s Western Campus aiming to bring together students of all backgrounds, to engender an entrepreneurial mindset and foster curiosity and collaboration between students from across the campus. The environment created will be inclusive, attracting a diverse range of students and facilitating connections around innovative endeavours, with a focus on supporting students beyond the confines of their subject discipline. The building will operate as a forum for learning through engaging with peers, academics, enterprise and employability professionals and other external experts.

The building will reflect shared values of inclusiveness, integrity, community, professionalism, and academic excellence, which are at the heart of everything we do.

To achieve our ambitions, we are seeking architectural talent of the highest calibre, and accordingly we have involved the RIBA Competitions office in our search.


The selection process will be organised over the following phases:

Expression of Interest with Selection Questionnaire

Responses to the Selection Questionnaire (SQ) will be used to select a shortlist of suitable candidates (minimum 5) to proceed to the Tender (design competition) phase.

Invitation to Tender

Submission of Tender responses. As part of the Tender return, shortlisted architects will be required to develop concept proposals to illustrate design intent and their approach to the project.


The Student Hub will be a statement building in the University’s Western Campus.

It will provide an outstanding facility for both study and social learning, alongside support for skills, personal development and careers advice. With its café and social space, it will become the community heart of the Western Campus – both for business and law students, and for students from across the University.

The Student Hub will provide facilities suitable for educational groups taking part in the University’s sector-leading outreach and widening participation activities, reflecting our commitment to raising aspirations and opening up opportunities to transform lives through education. It will also provide spaces for a range of student opportunity activities to enable students to challenge themselves and to explore new skills and ideas.

The Student Hub will be a welcoming and accessible building – designed to meet the needs of our students as they develop as well-rounded global citizens, able to lead and make a positive contribution in a rapidly changing world. It will reflect the energy and excitement of a place in which a diverse range of people come together to learn, to create, and to make new discoveries – not least about themselves and what they are able to achieve.

Designed for social learning

The three-storey building, of approximately 4,000 square metres, will meet a critical need for a range of quiet study, social and peer learning spaces on this part of campus. The style of space and furnishings will create a comfortable, creative and flexible environment which meets the varied study and working needs of students, and supports their success. Such facilities are important for all our students, but for those from disadvantaged backgrounds they are particularly critical, providing an academic 'home' with essential learning resources and social facilities to hand.

The Student Hub Building will also incorporate several innovative teaching spaces, designed for a mix of instruction, group learning and interaction. Such flexible spaces are ideally designed for the popular enterprise and innovation modules, which are led by the Business School but studied by students across all subject areas. These versatile spaces can also be used, outside of core teaching hours, for a range of co-curricular events, talks and networking sessions – including activities for scholarship students, visiting speakers, educational outreach and summer schools. The design of the building will accordingly be considered for early opening and very late closure times.

Transitional indoor/outdoor functional spaces should also be considered that add a further dimension for the student experience and to enhance the relationship between the building and its landscape.

The landscaping design should symbiotically work with the building architecture to establish a destination in Western Campus and help create outdoor spaces which draw people in its own right. There is great opportunity designing in the beautiful setting, rich in history.

The design should respect the existing perimeter buildings and look to segregate servicing discretely from pedestrian areas, avoiding 'cross-overs' as far as possible. The existing perimeter road system will remain in place (the Landscaping element therefore to be within this 'boundary'). It is important that the function of the landscaping also serves the general public as an accessible greenspace- this is a planning consideration (the LCC Development plan can be found at:

Accessibility is extremely important and the ethos should follow a 'ramp before steps' approach, where possible. Designers should carefully consider how good seating design can influence social interaction.

The overall concept, both internally and externally, will create a place which has been designed to enable use by as many people as possible, regardless of their physical ability or background.

Equipping our students for the future

As well as providing critical academic facilities, the Student Hub Building will be home to student-facing services, making them visible and accessible within the space where students want to spend their time. These are likely to include careers and employability skills development and advice, internships and study abroad opportunities, and there will be facilities in the building for ‘Spark’ (University’s student business start-up service) activities, meetings, events and maker space.

A community heart reflecting our shared values

In both a physical and a metaphorical sense, the Student Hub Building will change the face of the Western Campus, bringing together 21st century study and learning facilities, with welcoming and flexible social and co-curricular space, and the careers and development support that our students need to thrive and make a difference in society.

It will be an inspirational space at the heart of the Western Campus: 'a place to find people', a place where diversity is embraced, a dynamic meeting place for students (home and international), staff, business mentors and alumni volunteers, visiting schoolchildren and community partners, visiting scholars and more. It will be a place where exciting ideas are discovered, new aspirations ignited and a supportive community is fostered.


Briefing Paper


PDF version of the Brief and Conditions

Download Briefing Paper

Selection Questionnaire


PDF version of the SQ

Download SQ

Invitation To Tender


Draft PDF version of the ITT

Download draft ITT

To obtain an editable version of the SQ document together with a Unique Reference Number complete the registration form below.

Phase 1 Deadline

Deadline for receipt of SQ returns