Alumno launches event to mark opening of Terry Frost PBSA

Celebrating a renowned local Leeds artist, Alumno’s Terry Frost purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme has officially opened.

Terry Frost Building launch event | PBSA News
Terry Frost Building launch event. Left to right: Jonny Darbishire, Senior Development Manager, Alumno; David Campbell, MD, Alumno; Marcus Westmorland, Senior Project Manager, GMI Construction; Terry Frost’s sons Stephen and Anthony; Andrew Hurcomb, Divisional MD Yorkshire, GMI Construction; Adrian Kelly, Contracts Manager, GMI Construction.

Specialist student accommodation developer Alumno has officially opened the mixed-use six and seven-storey Terry Frost Building in Leeds that will provide accommodation for the city’s growing student population. The scheme will also feature an onsite Asian street food restaurant. 

The Terry Frost Building, named after the celebrated abstract artist who taught at Leeds College of Art, was designed by architects Howarth Litchfield, built by GMI Construction Group, and project managed by RPS Group.

“We have been creating student accommodation around the UK for over 15 years and are delighted to be opening our latest completed project in Leeds. Whitelock Street is the perfect location due its proximity to the universities and city centre, and we believe this development will be a great addition to the Sheepscar district and offer significant regeneration benefits. It will also make more housing available to local people by alleviating the need for students to rent family homes privately in the area.” 

David Campbell, Managing Director (MD), Alumno

The new 11,955 sqm development on Whitelock Street in the city’s Sheepscar district has regenerated a run-down, disused site and comprises 105 units that will house 411 students.

Amenities include a range of communal areas, including a central hub, gym, cinema, laundry room, roof terrace with a garden and extensive secure bicycle storage. 

As part of its ongoing commitment to the communities living adjacent to its projects, Alumno has commissioned artworks that have been integrated into the public areas surrounding the development.

“We are exceptionally proud to have delivered this landmark development as part of our ongoing and successful relationship with Alumno. The Terry Frost Building is helping to set the standard for purpose-built student accommodation, which is sustainably designed and built to meet the needs of Leeds’ growing student population.”

Andrew Hurcomb, Divisional Managing Director (MD) Yorkshire, GMI Construction

The atrium at the Terry Frost Building contains a large frieze based on an abstract painting by Terry himself. Inspired by his work, Yorkshire-based poet Zaffar Kunial has written a poem cast into the brickwork at the building’s entrance.

Meanwhile, Kunial’s work based on the ‘hidden river’ Sheepscar Beck, which runs to the rear of the site before disappearing under Leeds city centre, is built into the retaining wall of the development’s ‘eternal rain garden’ where ceramics by local artist Ameila Wood will also be permanently displayed.

“Sheepscar was a thriving Irish quarter with many industries including coal extraction, brickmaking and, perhaps most notably, Burmantofts Pottery nearby. The predominance of brickwork in the facades is a clear reference to this urban, industrial and artisan heritage and celebrates the former clay pits to the west. We are delighted with how the design for the Terry Frost Building has evolved, which cascades down from west to east to the dramatic prow at the Sheepscar Interchange creating a new landmark gateway for the northern city and offering spectacular views of the city to the south.”

Jonathan Yates, Managing Director (MD), Howard Litchfield Architects

Specially commissioned photography on Leeds by Peter Dench is also on display, along with work from finalists of Photo North, an annual photography exhibition and student competition sponsored by Alumno. At the opening event, Terry’s son Anthony also unveiled a plaque in honour of his late father.