Project > Printworks – Teaching Accommodation

Creating a brighter future for Leeds students

The brief

Leeds City College and PML have collaborated with DB3 to build a modular teaching accommodation block at their Printworks campus. The project involved the construction of a three-story building, which was specifically designed to meet the requirements of the educational institution. The use of modular building techniques allowed for a quicker and more efficient construction process. DB3’s extensive experience and knowledge were utilised throughout RIBA stages 1 to 6, requiring close collaboration with the design team, client, and modular system fabricator to ensure a successful outcome.

The building design includes:

  • Teaching spaces
  • Classrooms
  • Learning facilities
  • Laboratories
  • Undercroft parking.

Key considerations

Key considerations

The project posed several challenges, including protecting the neighbouring Grade II listed building and meticulous technical coordination required throughout all design stages due to the prefabricated construction system used in the project. DB3 successfully addressed these challenges by engaging the client and consultant team early on in the process, ensuring that all aspects of the project were fully coordinated and executed with precision.

People-centred design

People-centred design

Extensive end-user engagement workshops were conducted by the DB3 team to ensure that the design met the needs of the college and the teaching delivery team. This was coordinated with planning, transport, and environmental consultant teams, as well as the manufacturing client team, to ensure that the final design met all relevant requirements. Throughout the build process, the college engaged the students and took them on visits to see the modules being installed and the detailed fit-out works.

Building for the future

Building for the future

The building is highly sustainable and has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ certification. The design utilises an off-site system by Premier Modular which targets net zero waste to landfill. The building has a total GIA of more than 1120m2 and was on-site for just six months due to its off-site construction system. This forward-thinking design showcases how modular construction can offer high-quality, sustainable, and efficient buildings to meet the future needs of the education sector.

Distinctive features

Distinctive features

The building has been designed with the goal of achieving a harmonious aesthetic balance with the surrounding buildings in the courtyard. To accomplish this, the building incorporates partially perforated corten steel cladding, which blends well with the diverse aesthetics of the neighbouring structures. The cladding will over the seasons patinate to a deep orange/brown and will show the effects of the environment and climate of it’s setting on each of its elevations. We look forward to the buildings aesthetic developing and maturing along with the students it will serve. 

In addition to the corten steel cladding, the building features a double-height glass entrance that serves as a visually striking focal point. This entrance provides a modern and transparent aesthetic that contrasts with the ruggedness of the corten steel cladding. The use of full height, wide aspect windows also serves a practical purpose by allowing natural light to flow deep into the building’s interior, creating an open and inviting atmosphere, whilst also prompting natural passive ventilation.

Award-winning project

Award-winning project

Printworks Teaching Accommodation, took centre stage in our winning submission for the ‘Architectural Practice of the Year’ award at the prestigious 2023 Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards. This project exemplifies our dedication to creating vibrant spaces and demonstrates our excellence in the Sports & Leisure sector.

Client: Leeds City College

Contractor: Premier Modular

Structural Engineer: CCS Consulting

MEP Engineer: Sayes

Principal Designer: DB3

Landscape Architect: Urban Wilderness

Location: Printworks Campus, Leeds

Value: Undisclosed

RIBA Stages: 1-6

Date Completed: March 2023

DB3 People: Lee Holmes, Dalia Al Madhoun, Jordi Campo Bria

Expertise Area: MMC, Education


Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)

Drawing on our expertise in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), we specialise in providing custom-designed solutions for modular buildings. Our in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in MMC enable us to deliver high-quality, and efficient designs that meet the unique needs of our clients.

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