Manchester, GB

The Headline, Leeds
The Headline, Leeds
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The Headline

74 is delighted to announce the completion of its amenity space designs at The Headline for client Grainger plc. The new BTR (build-to-rent) residential development is located in Leeds on the former site of the Yorkshire Post offices and printing works and forms part of the city’s new Wellington Place urban quarter.

The new-build, 18-storey building, with extensive frontage looking directly out over the River Aire, features a stepped design from the 13th to the 17th floor, with parking at below-ground level. The 242-home scheme has been designed by architects The Harris Partnership, with 74’s remit covering the interior design of the 595 sq m ground floor residents’ amenity space - where social areas are combined with a reception area, residents lounge, co-working space, a fitness-on-demand wellness studio and a gym - as well as a 155 sq m ‘Sky Lounge’ on the building’s 11th floor, with private dining room and additional external terrace space.

Brief and Approach

“We were looking to create a stand-out design for the amenity spaces” Bianca Yousef, Associate at 74 commented, “that would be notably different from the harder-edged, more corporate feel of the interiors of many of the surrounding buildings. The idea for The Headline was for a soft, elegant and sophisticated series of spaces where residents could work, rest and play, with ideas and inspiration for the design concept taken from the site’s former life as the headquarters of the Yorkshire Post newspaper.”

Katherine Stephens, Grainger’s Development Manager for The Headline said “We are really pleased with the finished amenity spaces at The Headline. 74 have done an excellent job in answering to our brief, bringing creativity and great attention to detail and in doing so, creating spaces that we feel confident our residents will love.”

Social Spaces Design Treatment

The design treatment for the two amenity spaces was aimed at enabling residents to relax immediately on entering the building and to feel at home. Light, soft tones – a mix of neutrals with feature soft blues and greens for the ground floor and the addition of a strong orange/rust colour in the Sky Lounge – combine to create a striking and fresh palette, with refined and minimal contemporary detailing throughout, as well as strong statement furniture and dramatic feature lighting.

Bringing the outside in via greenery and natural materials to prioritise resident wellbeing was also an imperative, as were the quality cues provided by the scheme’s materials, which include solid surface finishes, such as beautiful porcelain floor tiles and natural light oak. Brass is used throughout in the scheme’s furniture, lighting and design detailing, with the gold finishes to the scheme’s metalwork creating a welcoming sense of warmth. Fit-out contractor Gariff Construction Ltd, who have previously worked with Grainger, created the scheme’s stand-out bespoke joinery.

The site’s newspaper heritage influence can be seen in the choices of set dressing – from typewriters and a series of eight wall clocks showing the time in major cities throughout the world – through to the influence of printing production rails, whose echo can be seen in the dramatic, curved framework rails 74 designed around the booth and sofa seating in the centre of the ground floor space. Lighter touches reflecting printed text, the formation of lettering and newsroom styling also find their way subtly into the design via the scheme’s wayfinding, which was created by f.r.a. This was complemented by the work of Widd Signs, who fabricated and installed all the enhanced wayfinding, including the main building sign. 

The spaces also feature eight stunning artworks (seven on the ground floor and one in the Sky Lounge), commissioned from artist Michael Murray. The artist liaised with both Grainger and 74 on the artwork brief, so that the final works feature objects relating to the site’s Yorkshire Post heritage, whilst also reflecting the scheme’s colour palette and incorporating subtle typographic and shaping references to The Headline’s identity, Grainger’s history and the Yorkshire Post newspaper.

On the 11th floor, the Sky Lounge is a vibrant and fun space, featuring bolder colours and brighter fabrics, although clearly linking to the ground floor amenity space via the same finishes family, including brass lighting and framework seats. Amtico basket-weave flooring is also used here, this time with different feature colour sections to demarcate the pool table and fireplace sofa area, which features two facing New York Suite sofas by Saba in Spice orange-rust velvet upholstery. Bright orange fabrics and bolder blues and greens tie the overall look together, including rich blue curtains and a feature bespoke orange baize pool table.

As residents enter, they see the lounge seating area with the sofas directly ahead, backed by a feature fireplace inset into a feature wall of with mint-coloured tiles at the lower level and a large screen at the upper level, surrounded by grey wall tiles with metallic lines at angles, creating an eye-catching geometric pattern.

At the top left of the space is a gaming area with tables for board games, whilst a printed chessboard table is located in front of the fireplace. A feature high-level table for eight is located to the right. To the rear of the space on the right is a refreshment counter with a bronze, mirrored splashback, whilst to the rear on the left is a stunning private dining room and kitchen. The striking wallpaper here in mottled blues is from the Abalone range by Tektura Wallcoverings, whilst the bespoke, ellipse-shaped dining table seats eight and features a veined stone top. Three metal ring globe pendant lights over the dining table are by Homary, whilst other stand-out Sky Lounge lighting includes dramatic Metal Bow Floor Lamps by Beut; the Opal Pendant by Enigma Lighting over the pool table and two sets of Polished Brass Tube pendant lights by E2 Lighting, hung at different lengths set inside two curved-edge joinery ceiling rafts over the high table and games table areas.

Lounge seating, tables and rugs, all suitable for outdoor use, decorate the slim external terrace, encouraging residents to step out and take in the views of the River Aire.

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Status: Built
Location: Leeds, GB
Firm Role: Interior Designer
Additional Credits: Building Architect The Harris Partnership
Fit-out Contractor Gariff Construction Ltd
& Bespoke Joinery
Bespoke Art Michael Murray
M&E Cundall
M&E Sub-contractor DL M&E Building Services Ltd
Furniture Supplier WorkForm
Feature Lighting Enigma Lighting
Wayfinding f.r.a.
Gym Equipment Educated Body
Planting Urban Planters
Photography Gunner Gu, with additional images courtesy of
Grainger plc