The ‘perfect’ hexagonal Build to Rent tower at Wellington Square

The hexagonal Build to Rent tower forms part of the Wellington Square scheme in Leeds, designed by Howells.

Wellington Street entrance of the mixed-use destination which includes the Hexagonal Build to Rent tower | BTR News
Wellington Street entrance of the mixed-use destination which includes the Hexagonal Build to Rent tower.

Howells is developing a new mixed-use destination at the Wellington Square scheme in Leeds, which secured planning permission from Leeds City Council last month.

Catered for both live and work communities, the scheme will deliver two tech-hub workplaces and a landmark 45-storey hexagonal Build to Rent tower, set to become the tallest building in Leeds. 

1:500 model of the new Wellington Square neighbourhood | BTR News
1:500 model of the new Wellington Square neighbourhood.

Working closely with McLaren Group, Howells’ western gateway masterplan will be integral to the wider sustainable regeneration of the area, and the next-generation tech hubs will also help to unlock growth in the west of the city.

The Wellington Square Build to Rent development takes the form of a distinct ‘Hexagon’ tower. It provides a tall, slender, elegant proportion rising up to the sky lounge at the crown, where residents can enjoy breath-taking panoramic views.

The Wellington Square hexagonal Build to Rent tower designed by Howells | BTR News
The Wellington Square hexagonal Build to Rent tower designed by Howells.

The ‘perfect’ hexagon provides unique homes with a democratic central core and exclusive hallways shared by no more than four apartments.

The proposal will deliver a new public space at the heart of the scheme with soft landscaping and a play area, encouraging active travel with its innovative cycle-in and cycle-out hub.

Concept sketch | BTR News
Concept sketch.

The vision will stitch together existing links through this new central square that also forms part of a network of emerging public spaces and cycleways. It will provide much needed dwell space, front doors to the buildings and outdoor seating for the active uses in a leafy and green setting. 

The square also provides a social heart to the scheme for residents, workers and visitors and provides access to the shared cycle hub. Other shared amenities include co-working space and a conference hall at the base and crown of the Hexagon Build to Rent development.

Typical floor of the Build to Rent development | BTR News
Typical floor of the Build to Rent development.

To cater for the emerging green tech industry and collaboration with research institutes, the tech-hub buildings feature south-facing terraces on several levels – to provide access to nature and outdoor working with spectacular views of the city, a first for Leeds.

“All the buildings are unified through a horizontal expression and use glazed terracotta, helping them to be a family of distinct designs and paying reference to Leeds’ rich history of architectural ceramics for facades. 

“The tones and textures of the glazed terracotta add further interest and variety, from the red shades of the tech hubs to the warm white shades of the Hexagon. The horizontal windows also offer better quality of daylight, panoramic views and flexibility of layouts. 

“The redevelopment will provide workspace for 3,300 users, 464 homes and help create hundreds of new highly skilled jobs in the emerging creative tech sector, helping to strengthen the city’s international appeal and UK’s digital heartland with a thriving ecosystem.”

Dav Bansal, Partner, Howells