Rose Bowl made by façade specialist seele


Miraster glazing


atrium façade

rose bowl

Sheppard Robson designed the “Rose Bowl”, a business school located directly opposite Leeds Civic Hall, as part of a development study for Leeds Metropolitan University. Classrooms, lecture theatres and offices occupy a total floor area of 12,000sqm. In the centre of this U-shaped building complex there is a shimmering green elliptical glass “bowl”, which, supported on slender Y-form columns, constitutes the open, transparent entrance zone.

  • The seemingly floating primary structure of this central element is made up of sturdy steel triangles. Attached to the outside of these is a secondary construction of aluminium sections, which are aligned with millimetre accuracy by means of brackets – custom-designed by seele. Adjustable in three dimensions, these brackets can easily compensate for fabrication tolerances of up to 40mm. Mirrored laminated glass panes, each with a peripheral aluminium frame on the inside, are fitted into this façade framework. The frames are bonded directly to the metal coating on the glass – a load-bearing joint that represents a genuine new departure in glass architecture. 

    The atrium façade spans between the delicate façade of the bowl, with its fine tracery of silicone joints, and the surrounding building. Steel T-sections suspended from the roof structure plus horizontal rails together form a vertically aligned rectangular grid. Stainless steel point fixings provide the façade with a delicate pattern to create a technoid ornament next to the purist ellipse.

    Images: © seele / Matthias Reithmeier


Client Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds
Main contractor HBG Construction Ltd., West Yorkshire
Architect Sheppard Robson, Manchester
Date of completion 2008
Scope of seele supply
  • Atrium façade (approx. 300sqm)
  • Atrium roof (approx. 200sqm)
  • Mirastar glazing (approx. 1,100sqm)
  • The atrium façade includes double glazed units via suction holders and silicone gaskets onto the vertical secondary steelwork structure