Pioneering prototype homes to be delivered at £400 million Kirkstall Forge development

CEG has announced it will deliver two prototype homes at its £400 million flagship Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds.

Construction on the two prototype houses commences in February 2019 and completes late summer when members of the design team will stay in the fully furnished three and five-bed homes, rigorously testing elements of the home including kitchens and bathrooms.

Following their feedback, improvements will be made to finesse the final product before construction begins on the first phase of 112 contemporary homes which have been designed by Stirling Prize winner Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Offering a unique style of architecture resembling the local stone of the old forge building and Kirkstall Abbey, space and light are maximised with high ceilings and tall windows. They will offer open plan living opening out onto gardens and terraces across different floors, with many roof verandas providing fantastic views of the valley.

Aisling Ramshaw, head of sales and marketing – Kirkstall Forge, said: “These prototypes are important as they will help to ensure every detail of the design has been considered and tested. How many times do you walk into a home and think why has the architect put that there? Often what looks great on plan can be very different in terms of the practical use of a space. By living in these homes our team will put all aspects of the design thinking to the test.”

CEG’s decision to ensure Kirkstall Forge is ‘Different by Design’ has paid off to date; with the opening of a new railway station to connecting this development site to Leeds City Centre in just six minutes, followed swiftly by a 110,000 sq ft office development which was 90% let less than a year from completion, securing the prestigious British Council of Offices best UK ‘Commercial Workplace’ award.

This is the oldest continually industrialised site in the UK. At 57-acres, it is one of the largest brownfield sites under development in the north and the most ambitious scheme in the Leeds development pipeline.

Its 800-year industrial heritage is paving the way for a thriving mixed-use community set in a wooded riverside valley. Ultimately the site will deliver 1,050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space.

A dedicated Kirkstall Forge Life team has already been established and runs regular health and fitness events, social activities, walking and biking clubs, as well as managing cycle and scooter hire and encouraging the 1,000 people who already work at the site to travel sustainably using the new on-site railway station, car share scheme, EV charging points and tailored travel guide service.

James Shimwell, head of residential development at Kirkstall Forge, said: “This innovative way of delivering prototype housing follows the attention to detail we paid to the new railway station and the award-winning first office development. Kirkstall Forge is designed to bring to life a connected community for business, residents and visitors. FCBStudios has captured that with an inspiring design that maximises the acres of green space and waterfront opportunity.”