Lyons Works Building becomes a work of art

13 Jul 2016

​New artwork on the façade of the Lyons Works building on Templar Lane is now complete following a partnership between Hammerson, Leeds College of Art, and renowned local artist, Peter Barber, who specialises in bespoke handcrafted murals and signs.

Hammerson worked with Leeds College of Art and professional artist Peter Barber to create a vibrant piece of artwork for the Lyons Works Building in Leeds. The designs are inspired by the clothing heritage and existing fonts found in Leeds’ arcades, Tetley Brewery, signs, iron work and stone decoration from both the Victorian arcades of Victoria Quarter as well as Victoria Gate.

The artwork’s quote reads, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, design for tomorrow”. The phrase, borrowed from Einstein, is a nod towards the site’s surroundings of Quarry Hill, home to Leeds’ cultural institutions.

Originally a garment factory, the Edwardian Lyons Works, built in 1914, has been an iconic part of Leeds’ skyline for over a century, but has been empty for much of this time. The building is adjacent to the new Victoria Gate retail development.

The public art installation forms part of Hammerson’s commitment to Leeds’ art and culture scene, which has also seen the developer behind the £165m Victoria Gate site work with groups including East Street Arts.

“We are truly committed to the cultural development and identity of Leeds, and throughout this development we have been very conscious to work closely with all stakeholders to preserve and respect Leeds’ rich heritage. The Lyons Works building is a historic site and we are pleased to be able to collaborate with Leeds College of Art and local students and artists to make this new installation possible.”

James Hepburn, Development Manager at Victoria Gate

Involving Local Students at Leeds College of Art

Contributing to our community investment initiatives and projects in Leeds, several students from Leeds College of Art supported the project. As part of the students’ diploma they worked alongside Peter to create the concept and deliver the piece in its entirety.

The opportunity for Leeds College of Art students to be involved in such a large scale, iconic project has proved extremely valuable. In addition to increasing their experience and knowledge, students have gained new skills such as learning to undertake artwork at heights, whilst adhering to health and safety requirements and legislations. Students from Leeds College of Art who joined Peter in creating the iconic mural included, IanFulcher, Paul Brough, Zatul Iffah Fakharuldin, Tamar Attia, Bibi Klamer and Ellie Chappell.

“Working with Hammerson on the Lyons Works building was an opportunity our students relished and gained valuable experience from. Not only did they develop client pitching and project management skills, they worked alongside the talented artist Peter Barber who, prior to the project ran workshops on how to design and implement public art projects. The students had the opportunity to see the product of all their hard work in the transformation of a significant historical building in a key regeneration area of Leeds. I’d like to congratulate our students for all their hard work and thank Hammerson and Peter for their involvement in this project.”

Simon Thorpe, Director of Studies - Professional and External Development at Leeds College of Art