Saturday, 17 September 2011

'How's Leeds Arena doing?'

In short, it is progressing well. I was observing construction on Thursday/Friday from 20 floors up in Opal Tower, immediately East of the Arena site; and saw perhaps 30 - 40 workers on site looking very busy indeed. Groundwork looks to have been completed, and so the easy above-ground construction is underway. The cores have all more or less reached full height (workers were finishing the northernmost core this Saturday morning) and the first sections of permanent steelwork have been bolted together joining the south-western core, (which is located at the front right of the Arena once completed).

Pictures below (you can see the noticeable change in steelwork during the 24 hour period between Thursday and Friday): Click to enlarge:

On another note it was refreshing to see so much development in Leeds on my walk up the city to the arena site. On approaching Leeds the Bauman Lyons scheme at Tower Works is beginning to take shape, with what I presume is the first phase of brick clad office space located next to the largest, most ornate tower.

Leaving the train station, Leeds Trinity shopping centre is well underway - its domed roof visible from a number of places around Leeds, perhaps echoing the roof of Leeds' Corn Exchange (or perhaps just the roofs of Cabot Circus in Bristol and the New Riverside in Shrewsbury, all designed by the same architects). Just north of Leeds' desirable shopping area lies the student friendly Merrion Centre, which is undergoing a re-clad. I am a bit concerned that when the Arena opens the immediate landscape outside - its busy road, narrow pavements & Merrion Centre won't exactly be the most desirable place for 13,000+ visitors to wander about. Oh well.