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Light Shines on Leeds Skyscraper Bids

A huge bidding battle has broken out between some of the leading building contractors in the U.K over what will be Leeds tallest building, the 170 metre tall Venture Tower, the landmark building of what has now been dubbed "La Lumiere" by the marketing bods.

The scheme consists of two high-rise buildings, the other 112 metres, and contains 600 apartments, both serviced and independent, high spec offices including the top two floors of the taller building plus further floors throughout the towers totalling 9,000 square metres, retail at ground level and a winter garden that will connect the two together.

The project has been designed by the rather busy Ian Simpson Architects for KW Linfoot and Scarborough Developments. The interior of the scheme has been worked on by designer Philippe Starck, more famous for his shoes than buildings.

Building on the previous design, Simpson has altered the top of the taller tower and given the shorter one a significant height boost - 112 metres makes it almost as tall as the current tallest building under construction in Leeds.

Bids for the 135 million tender have been submitted by Bovis Lend Lease, Multiplex and Laing O'Rourke and the winner will be announced this coming April. Construction times are estimated at 39 months for the taller tower and 26 months for the shorter one.

A revised planning application for the new designs are due in at the council in April and CABE are due to publish their findings shortly but there's no word yet on when work will actually get underway on site. It is however, almost inconceivable the developer would award contracts with no intention to actually going ahead.

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