SimpsonHaugh and Partners
SimpsonHaugh and Partners
Since the practice was founded by Rachel Haugh and Ian Simpson in 1987, it has compiled an impressive portfolio of award-winning projects. It originated from a shared belief in the power of high quality design to lead the regeneration of post-industrial cities and initiate new contemporary architectural identities. Main themes are urban renewal, sustainability and design excellence with the aim of designing buildings and spaces that would be appropriate, inspirational and beautiful. While the success of its completed work and growing reputation for design integrity has allowed the practice to expand, Rachel and Ian remain personally involved in each project. Consequently, the inspiration in design and the attention to detail in construction that have stimulated the achievements of the practice so far will continue to guide its schemes in the future.
44 Merrion Street - Scape

44 Merrion Street - Scape

A crystalline tower in the heart of Leeds sets a new benchmark for student housing, providing 660 bed spaces, along with generous amenities and ground floor retail and cultural spaces

Project Specs


  • Location: Leeds
  • Contractor: HG Construction Ltd
  • Completed: 2024





44 Merrion Street - Scape


SSG units alternating triple glazing vision units, enamelled DGU spandrel panels with varied grey tones, anodised perforated aluminium purge vents.

Designed by

SimpsonHaugh and Partners Architects

Live Project

Sited within the northern Arena Quarter of Leeds city centre and near to the city’s universities, this student residential-led scheme forms part of the growing cluster of tall buildings found in the area. Offering world-class student accommodation, a total of 660 bed spaces are provided across a mix of self-contained studios and 5-bed cluster apartments with generous communal living spaces.

Students have access to extensive on-site amenities including a fitness studio, games room, multimedia and cinema rooms, laundry facilities and numerous lounges and study spaces, some of which open out onto private rooftop gardens.

The building is composed of a street scale podium building designed to repair the street edge and step in height to respond to the scale of adjacent buildings. A 32-storey tower sits above, positioned away from neighbouring buildings which has been sculpted to present the same proportions as the spire of St. John’s Church which can be found opposite the site.

The elevational treatments of the podium and tower are intentionally contrasting, with a red brick cladding to the street building and a glass-faced façade to the tower. The podium materiality takes reference from the material and tonal palette of the historic buildings along New Briggate nearby and features glazed ceramic detailing which is inspired by local Burmantofts pottery. The tower comprises insulated opaque glass panels and clear glazing for a ‘lightweight’ and reflective appearance, which reflects the changing light of the day and seasons in the form’s crystalline facets