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Giant art installation marks topping out of Carlton Hill sky gardens

Pickard Properties has unveiled a giant temporary art installation at its Carlton Hill development in Leeds to mark a major milestone at the student accommodation scheme.

Designed by Leeds Arts University student, 19-year-old Kit Tse, the seven-metre-wide artwork depicts an abstract of the 604-bed, purpose-built apartment development, and was displayed to mark the topping out of the development.

Originally from Hong Kong, Kit has been studying in the UK for six years. He is currently studying BA (Hons) Fashion Design and focuses on contemporary and impressionist art.

Set across three storeys, Carlton Hill’s fully landscaped sky gardens are part of an approach by Pickard Properties and the development team to provide a strong emphasis on students’ mental health and wellbeing.

In addition to the sky gardens, students will be able to enjoy a roof garden and a landscaped courtyard, providing a combination of interactive spaces for studying and socialising,

Being built by Leeds-based GMI Construction, Carlton Hill, which is set across three blocks, the tallest of which is 15 storeys, also features larger than standard bedrooms and living spaces.

Due for completion in the second quarter of 2023, the development also supports Leeds’ contribution to tackling climate change.

Carlton Hill replaces a 239-bed student accommodation block, also owned by Pickard Properties, which was demolished to make way for this new contemporary scheme that aims to reduce carbon emissions.

It will also be all-electric future ready to benefit from continued growth of renewable energy supply, and from the outset almost half of its power requirements will be provided by low or zero carbon technologies.Its location, close to the city centre including nearby Leeds Arts University, Leeds Beckett University and University of Leeds, is helping to encourage the use of pedestrian and sustainable transport.

The developer has a long-standing involvement in student accommodation in the city and has worked closely with Unipol Student Homes, which will lease the building for exclusive use by students attending the University of Leeds.

Carlton Hill is also representative of the high-quality Leeds schemes in its portfolio, which are helping to transform the city’s skyline and form part of Pickard Properties’ wider construction and regeneration activities across the North of England.

Miles Pickard, director of Pickard Properties, said: “The sky gardens are a core element of our vision for Carlton Hill and Kit’s artwork is a fantastic perspective of the scheme and how important it will be to the student living in Leeds.”

“We are exceptionally proud of the development, which sets the standard for contemporary student accommodation.  It goes beyond providing a safe and comfortable place to live, which are still fundamental, but also has an increased focus on tenants’ mental health and wellbeing. We look forward to its completion and seeing the first set of students moving in.”

Kit Tse said: “It’s great to see my design in transformed into a giant piece of art on the sky gardens.  I was really pleased to get this opportunity to win this commission, which gave me a chance to use a media that creates texture and rhythm, which brings energy and connection to my audience.”

Andrew Hurcomb, divisional managing director of GMI Construction, said: “Carlton Hill represents the future of student accommodation.  Working closely with Pickard Properties and its design team, we have built on our track-record in the student living market to deliver a well-being focused scheme in a great location that will benefit students, the universities and the city of Leeds.”

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Left to right - Pickard Properties directors Simon Pickard, Catherine Coleman, Kit Tse, Pickard Properties director Miles Pickard and GMI Managing Director Andrew Hurcomb unveil Kit’s artwork to mark the topping out of Carlton Hill

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